Legendary blues guitarist dies peacefully in his sleep, according to family statement
Blues guitarist Peter Green, one of the co-founders of Fleetwood Mac, has died at the age of 73. Green recorded three studio albums with Fleetwood Mac from 1967 to 1969 (Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, Mr. Wonderful , and Then Play On) before leaving the band in 1970. He is best known for writing the singles “Oh Well (Part I & II),” “Black Magic Woman” (later popularized by Santana), and “Albatross,” which reached No. 1 in the UK.
Green’s family released the following statement: “It is with great sadness that the family of Peter Green announce his death this weekend, peacefully in his sleep. A further statement will be provided in the coming days.”
Drummer Mick Fleetwood and singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks have shared the following tributes to Peter Green online:
For me, and every past and present member of Fleetwood Mac, losing Peter Green is monumental! Peter was the man who started the band Fleetwood Mac along with myself, John McVie, and Jeremy Spencer. No one has ever stepped into the ranks of Fleetwood Mac without a reverence for Peter Green and his talent, and to the fact that music should shine bright and always be delivered with uncompromising passion!!!
Peter, I will miss you, but rest easy your music lives on. I thank you for asking me to be your drummer all those years ago. We did good, and trail blazed one hell of a musical road for so many to enjoy.
God speed to you, my dearest friend……. Love Mick Fleetwood
I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Peter Green. My biggest regret is that I never got to share the stage with him. I always hoped in my heart of hearts that that would happen. When I first listened to all the Fleetwood Mac records, I was very taken with his guitar playing. It was one of the reasons I was excited to join the band. His legacy will live on forever in the history books of Rock n Roll. It was in the beginning, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac and I thank you, Peter Green, for that. You changed our lives…
1969-1974 includes Fleetwood Mac’s seven albums between the years of 1969 and 1974. The seven studio albums are Then Play On, Kiln House, Future Games, Bare Trees, Penguin, Mystery to Me, and Heroes Are Hard to Find. Each disc includes the full-length album, along with alternate, live, and single versions (expect Penguin) — some of which are making their first appearance on CD. The eighth disc features the band’s live performance at The Record Plant in Sausalito on December 15, 1974.
1973-1974 picks up where 1969-1972 left off (released in 2013), featuring Penguin, Mystery to Me, Heroes Are Hard to Find, and Fleetwood Mac Live from The Red Plant 12-15-74. The release also includes a mono promo edit of the Mystery to Me track “For Your Love” and the outtake “Good Things (Come to Those Who Wait).” A limited-edition colored-vinyl version of Fleetwood Mac 1973-1974 will also be available.
During this transitional era, Fleetwood Mac went through a series of notable guitar players (Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan, Bob Weston, and Bob Welch), as the band moved from a blues to contemporary pop-rock sound. Late guitarist Bob Welch led the band through much of the new musical direction, relocating the band to the vibrant Los Angeles music scene in the early 1970s. (Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham had made a similar relocation to the area around this time, before joining Fleetwood Mac at the end of 1974.) Welch sang lead and played guitar on five of the seven albums from 1971 to 1974, contributing radio hits “Sentimental Lady” and “Hypnotized.”
Mick Fleetwood announces concert to honor Peter Green and early Fleetwood Mac
Mick Fleetwood will host a one-of-a-kind concert honoring the early years of Fleetwood Mac and its co-founder Peter Green on February 25th at the London Palladium.
Fleetwood has enlisted an all-star cast of musicians to perform, including Billy Gibbons, David Gilmour, Jonny Lang, John Mayall, Christine McVie, Zak Starkey, Steven Tyler and Bill Wyman.
“The concert is a celebration of those early blues days where we all began, and it’s important to recognize the profound impact Peter and the early Fleetwood Mac had on the world of music,” Fleetwood said in a statement. “Peter was my greatest mentor and it gives me such joy to pay tribute to his incredible talent. I am honored to be sharing the stage with some of the many artists Peter has inspired over the years and who share my great respect for this remarkable musician.”
Fleetwood will act as the house band alongside Andy Fairweather Low, Dave Bronze and Ricky Peterson, and producer Glyn Johns will be the executive sound producer for the concert. The event will be filmed for eventual release and directed by Martyn Atkins.
Exclusive pre-sale tickets go on sale Wednesday November 13th at 10 a.m. GMT while public tickets go on sale Friday November 15th at 10 a.m. GMT via Ticketmaster. A donation from the event will go to Teenage Cancer Trust, a U.K. charity dedicated to providing specialist nursing and emotional support to young people with cancer.
Green co-founded Fleetwood Mac in 1967 alongside Fleetwood, John McVie, Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan. Fleetwood told Rolling Stone in 2017 that there was little possibility of the original lineup of the band reforming down the road.
“I went there many years ago,” he said. “We got into it and we were going to put a whole thing together at the [Royal] Albert Hall. This is years and years and years ago. Probably about 15 years ago. And right at the last minute, Peter, in the world that he lives in, just suddenly pulled out. … Suddenly it was not a good idea. And we had put a whole bunch of things together, I had even booked the venue. So I would never do that again.”
Emily Zemler / Rolling Stone / Monday, November 11, 2019
On Friday, George and Ryan, hosts of the popular YouTube channel Lost in Vegas, reacted to Fleetwood Mac’s No. 1 single “Dreams” from Rumours. The pair have reacted to hundreds of songs — everything from metal to country to classic rock — sharing their first impressions with fun banter and insightful commentary.
For their take of “Dreams,” the dynamic duo described it as “beautiful,” praising the song’s harmonies and vocal layering. George was especially taken with what could only be the signature Mick Fleetwood/John McVie rhythm section. “I love their sound!” The groove starts to take over; it starts to come over you, baby!”
Fleetwood Mac began the final portion of a world tour that started over a year ago last night at the TD Garden in Boston. The show was previously supposed to take place in April but was postponed due to Stevie Nicks‘ battle with the flu. Monday’s concert featured a bevy of the group’s greatest hits along with a few deep cuts and more.
The legendary band’s current lineup consists of longtime members Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks along with newcomers Mike Campbell (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers) and Neil Finn (Split Enz, Crowded House). Both Campbell and Finn joined in 2018 ahead of the current tour after Lindsey Buckingham was fired from the band.
Last night’s setlist followed a similar path as others from the now 80-show-old tour. Fleetwood Mac opened with “The Chain” and then played hits “Little Lies,” “Dreams,” “Second Hand News” and “Say You Love Me.” The band honored their early days by performing their 1968 single “Black Magic Woman” penned by former member Peter Green. Fleetwood Mac also paid tribute to Finn and Campbell’s roots via performances of Split Enz’s “I Got You” and Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over” as well as Petty’s “Free Fallin’.”
The band also fit in the recently busted out “Man Of The World” and “Oh Well” from Peter Green’s time in Fleetwood Mac. Last night’s show concluded with a run of hits that included “Landslide,” “Hold Me,” “You Make Loving Fun,” “Gold Dust Woman” and “Go Your Own Way.” For the encore, Fleetwood Mac followed “Free Fallin’” with “Don’t Stop.” The tour concludes in Las Vegas on November 16.
An Evening with Fleetwood Mac: Fleetwood Mac at TD Garden
Oct 28, 2019, Boston, MA
Second Hand News
Say You Love Me
Black Magic Woman
I Got You
Man of the World
Don’t Dream It’s Over
You Make Loving Fun
Gold Dust Woman
Go Your Own Way ENCORE
Scott Bernstein / JamBase / Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Forty years after its release, the group’s improbably cohesive follow-up to Rumours remains the blueprint for what comes after astounding commercial success
One rumor goes that Stevie Nicks threatened to leave Fleetwood Mac if they actually called the album Tusk. “There was nothing beautiful or elegant about the word ‘tusk,’” she later said. She’s right: It’s a grunt, a jab, a thudding monosyllable that has none of the musicality of the title Nicks was already dreaming up for her first solo record, Bella Donna. It was also, at least according to another rumor, a dick joke: “I don’t recall it being Mick’s joke about a …,” she trailed off in that interview, as if she couldn’t even bring herself to say it. “That went right over my little prudish head. I wasn’t even told that until after the record was done, and then I liked the title even less.”
Another way of thinking about the title, though, is as an outgrowth of the decorative, costly excess that birthed it: Before Fleetwood Mac even arrived at Studio D at L.A.’s Village Studios in 1978, all sorts of exotic knickknacks were imported onto the premises, transforming the space into a simulacra of an obscenely rich rock star’s home. In the liner notes to the album’s 2004 reissue, Nicks set the scene: “shrunken heads and leis and Polaroids and velvet pillows and saris and sitars and all kinds of wild and crazy instruments and tusks on the console.” Photographs by the nature artist Peter Beard were scattered around for inspiration. “Rare woods from Brazil and volcanic stones from Hawaii went into the decor,” Nicks’s biographer, Stephen Davis, writes. All this ambiance—and Lindsey Buckingham still insisted upon recording some of the damn album in a bathroom.
Such is, as Mick Fleetwood aptly puts it in his biography, “the duality of Tusk.” A sprawling double album, it’s rife with contradictions and ironies. It was, at the time of its release 40 years ago this week, the most expensive album ever made (and the first album ever to cost more than $1 million to record), but its rough edges and experimental ethos have since made it a source of inspiration within the indie-rock world. (In 2002, art-rockers Camper Van Beethoven released a great, imaginative full-album cover of Tusk.) An intentional departure from the coiled energy of Rumours, Tusk is a record large, strange, and varied enough to contain its exact opposite: It is at once sprawling and intimate, masculine and feminine, successful and failed.
It is also the rare album that could sell more than 4 million copies, spawn six hit singles, and, relatively speaking, still be considered a flop. “I say this without hesitation; as a band we really didn’t give a shit,” Fleetwood writes of the record’s commercial prospects. “Not at all.” Not many artists have to confront the mixed blessing of following up what was then the best-selling record of all time, and no one in Fleetwood Mac would have felt creatively satisfied had they just made Rumours II. Still, few listeners or record executives could have quite anticipated the strange sprawl of Tusk, a record that over the years has earned numerous comparisons to the Beatles’ White Album. (Fleetwood, in his memoir, refers to the group’s 1975 self-titled release as their “‘White’ Album”—but he means that in a different sense.) But time sands all edges. Forty years after its release, Tusk feels not so much like an anomaly as an archetype, the urtext of the Difficult Follow-Up Album, and—wild as this would have seemed at the time of its release—increasingly the consensus choice for Fleetwood Mac’s finest record.
The year before he entered the studio to begin recording Tusk, Lindsey Buckingham saw the Clash live in London. The experience left him electrified, challenged, and a little bit personally offended. In late-’70s Britain, writes Nicks’s biographer Davis, “Fleetwood Mac, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, Elton John, and all the older musicians were mocked for being out of touch with their audience and reviled as ‘dinosaur bands’ and Boring Old Farts.” Buckingham was then not even 30; he wasn’t about to live up to the Boring Old Fart stereotype. So he chopped off his flowing Led Zeppelin locks and traded in his bell-bottoms for skinny jeans and tailored suits. He started hearing beauty in dissonance, like the way recording on a boom box could give music a stark, compressed sound, or the tone you got from playing percussion not on a drum kit but an empty box of Kleenex.
An underappreciated aftershock of punk’s first wave is the kick in the ass it gave to some of the previous generations’ heroes, pushing some of those “dinosaur bands” to make their most adventurous music in years. Punk dared the Stones to make 1978’s Some Girls, their best and most brash record since Exile on Main St. It’s also the inspiration for some of the great Buckingham compositions on Tusk, from the taut, sneering “What Makes You Think You’re the One” to the haunting, oddly dissonant last-call dirge “That’s All for Everyone.” Buckingham was constantly experimenting in Studio D, searching for undiscovered tones and textures: He got the grumbling, blown-out sound of excitable punk ditty “The Ledge” by tuning his guitar down to sound like a bass. (“It sounds to me like it was put in a cement mixer and almost spat out,” he later said, proudly.) “I remember Lindsey used to make such a horrible sound,” the album’s co-producer, Ken Caillat, said in Ryan Reed’s book Fleetwood Mac FAQ. “He would physically make me distort the guitar so that it sounded like fingernails scraping across a chalkboard. I remember when he was recording ‘Not That Funny,’ he insisted he wanted a really weird-sounding vocal, so he made us tape a microphone to a tile floor, and he was doing a push-up over the microphone, singing, ’Not—that—funny—is it?!’ Anything to make it weirder was better on his songs.”
The Beach Boys, too, cast a long shadow over Tusk, and for several different reasons. Ever the studio rat, Buckingham spent the months leading up to the Tusk sessions listening obsessively to Pet Sounds, trying to deconstruct the production techniques behind that innovative masterpiece. It’s also been reported that Buckingham was granted access to the elusive master tapes of the Beach Boys’ then-unreleased Pet Sounds follow-up Smile, and that the Tusk tracks “That’s All for Everyone” and “Beautiful Child” bear the influence of Brian Wilson’s cutting-edge production. During the Tusk sessions, though, Christine McVie went even straighter to the source—she actually started dating a Beach Boy, the dreamy but ultimately troubled drummer Dennis Wilson.
As a counterbalance to Buckingham’s punk outbursts, Tusk showcases some of McVie’s most straight-forwardly lovely compositions: opener “Over & Over” sets a rose-colored tone, while the understated “Never Make Me Cry” is a perennial tear-jerker. Perhaps the most Rumours-reminiscent cut is McVie’s rousing “Think About Me”—one of Tusk’s few full-band jams. Tusk wouldn’t have confounded listeners if even half its songs sounded like this, but restless shape-shifting was also a consistent part of Fleetwood Mac’s ethos, even from the Peter Green days. “They had been a blues band, then a jam band, then a rock band, then a soft rock supernova,” Davis writes. “The Rumours groove had to be part of a progressive continuum, not the endgame.”
One of the most acrimonious fights during Rumours was over the exclusion of Nicks’s masterpiece “Silver Springs.” The band had to make some cuts to keep Rumours confined to a single LP, and when it came time for the final sequencing, the languorous, slow-tempo-ed “Springs” was first on the chopping block. “I started to scream bloody murder and probably said every horribly mean thing you could possibly say to another human being and walked back in the studio and completely flipped out,” Nicks said years later, recalling the conversation with Fleetwood when she first learned the song’s fate.
She got her revenge on Tusk. While Buckingham often approaches songwriting like a code to be cracked (“I’ve learned more about the mathematics of songwriting—how to fit pieces together, line length, timing chords and melodies,” he said around the time of Tusk’s release), Stevie’s process was more intuitive, her songs less rigorously structured. She thrived in open space and sprawl, something Tusk generously supplied. Her songs on the record are loose, unhurried, and exploratory, from the poignant ballad “Storm” to the meditative confessional “Beautiful Child.” The bluesy rocker “Angel” showcases a gravely, newly mature tone of Nicks’s voice that she’d explore further on Bella Donna, while the fan-favorite “Sisters of the Moon” furthered her witchy self-mythology: “A black widow spider makes / More sound than she,” Nicks sang, “and black moons in those eyes of hers / Made more sense to me.”
Her most enduring offering, though, is “Sara”—more of an incantation than a pop song, though it was still Tusk’s highest-charting hit. Her first demo of the track was 16 minutes long; a gorgeous nine-minute take was included on Tusk’s 2004 reissue. In his biography Gold Dust Woman, Stephen Davis calls “Sara” “the most asked-about song by Stevie’s interviewers, even more than ‘Rhiannon.’” Their first question, of course, was almost always, “Who’s Sara?” but that was a misleadingly literal thing to ask of a Stevie Nicks song. “It’s not about Sara [Rector], who was one of my best friends—even though everybody thinks it is,” she said many years later. “But it was really about what was going on with all of us at the time … some songs are about a lot of things.” “Sara” is an impressionistic swirl of all that was happening in Stevie Nicks’s mind in the heady days of 1978, from her ill-fated affair with bandmate Mick Fleetwood to her indecision about whether or not to pursue a solo career. It was a blustery brew but, as she’d tell us a few songs later, she had always been a storm.
While she believed Tusk to be “a spectacular record,” soon-to-be solo star Nicks resented the time its recording required of her. “Tusk took us 13 months to make, which is ridiculous,” she said when promoting Bella Donna in 1981. “I was there in the studio every day—or almost every day—but I probably only worked for two months. The other 11 months I did nothing, and you start to lose it after a while if you’re inactive. You see, Lindsey, Chris, John, and Mick all play, and I don’t. So most of the time I’d be looking at them through the window in the control room. After four or five hours, they’d forget I was even there, they’d be so wrapped up in little details. It was very frustrating.”
One of the approximately 3 billion things I adore about Tusk is that it contains maybe the greatest, and definitely the most petty, album credit of all time:
I completely forgot the production credit on Tusk is “Fleetwood Mac (Special Thanks from the Band to Lindsey Buckingham)” !!!! I will love this petty messy band until I die pic.twitter.com/l3gCk0RciY
Buckingham was, more than anyone, the sonic mastermind behind Tusk. But the very fabric of Tusk is also variety, collaboration, and bricolage—an alchemy he never could have achieved alone. If Rumours was the result of a handful of passionate, often-inebriated people standing elbow-to-elbow in a too-small room, Tusk is the sound of them stomping into their respective corners. To love Fleetwood Mac is to marvel at the beautiful absurdity that these five very different people were ever in a band together, let alone a band whose songs could hang together so well. In this sense, the improbably cohesive Tusk just might be their defining record.
Maybe it was just ahead of its time. Tusk’s double-album breadth might have stunted its commercial prospects in 1979—the 2XLP retailed for $16.98, around $50 adjusted for inflation—but in the more-is-more logic of the streaming era, it seems downright normal. (Drake’s mammoth-selling 2018 album Scorpion, for one example, is 15 minutes longer than Tusk.) Forty years later, it remains the blueprint for what comes after astounding commercial success, if an artist is too itchy and creative to simply rest on their laurels. Its forward-thinking ethos has kept it fresh all this time. “Tusk is not going to sound dated in five or 10 years,” the writer Blair Jackson predicted all the way back in 1981, “and I would be willing to bet that a lot more people will slowly be convinced of the album’s greatness than will forget all about it.” You can say that again.
Lindsay Zoladz / The Ringer / Monday, October 14, 2019
On November 29, Rhino Records will be exclusively releasing Fleetwood Mac’s five studio albums between 1975 and 1987 (Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, Tusk, Mirage, and Tango in the Night) on colored vinyl in a limited edition, individually numbered box set.
Fleetwood Mac released five back-to-back multi-platinum albums between 1975 and 1987, an astonishing feat that drove them to become one of the best-selling bands in the world.
This collection includes: Fleetwood Mac on white vinyl; Rumours on clear vinyl; Tusk on a silver vinyl 2-LP set; Mirage on violet vinyl; and Tango In The Night on green vinyl.
A new incarnation of Fleetwood Mac debuted in the summer of 1975 that included Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Christine McVie, along with new members Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. The group’s first album together, Fleetwood Mac (sometimes called “The White Album”), topped the Billboard album chart, spent more than a year in the Top 40 and sold more than five million copies in the U.S. thanks to songs like “Landslide,” “Say You Love Me,” and “Rhiannon.”
In 1977, the band followed up with Rumours, considered by many to be among the greatest albums of all time. It won the Grammy® for Album of the Year and has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. Its unforgettable tracks include: “Go Your Own Way,” “Gold Dust Woman” and the band’s first number one smash, “Dreams.”
The Grammy®-nominated double-album Tusk arrived in 1979. It sold more than four million copies worldwide and introduced fans to hits like “Sara,” “Think About Me,” and the title track.
Three years later, in 1982, Fleetwood Mac again topped the U.S. Album Chart for five weeks with Mirage. Along with hits like “Hold Me” and “Gypsy,” Mirage also features great album tracks like “Oh Diane” and “Straight Back.”
In 1987, Tango in the Night became the second-most successful album of the band’s career, selling more than 15 million copies worldwide with the massive hits “Everywhere,” “Big Love” and “Little Lies.”
Fleetwood Mac has announced its final show of the 2018-2019 tour will be in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena on November 16. Tickets go on sale on Friday, October 11, at 10:00 a.m. local time.
Fans have been speculating whether “the final concert” will be Fleetwood Mac’s last concert ever. While it’s very unlikely that band will stop performing shows, they may decide not to tour on such a massive scale in the future.
REVIEW: It’s a weird feeling to walk from a concert of an international headliner, with a song from home in the front of your mind.
And so it happened after the final of an 80 concert stretch for Fleetwood Mac when they headlined Dunedin”s Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday night.
While there was no support act on the undercard, the more than 30,000 punters were treated to a Kiwi version with Neil Finn (Split Enz, Crowded House) front and centre with his new band.
And that band featured the waistcoat duo of Mick Fleetwood on drums and John McVie on bass, and Christine McVie on keys and vocals, and frontwoman Stevie Nicks, alongside new member, guitarist Mike Campbell (of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers).
Before they took the stage at the early (not complaining!) time of 8.20pm, the crowd entertained themselves with a series of Mexican waves,
Right from the outset the band shows their chemistry, opening with crowd pleaser “The Chain.”
McVie, who has an assortment of children toys on her keyboard, wins the key to the city for saying the band had an amazing time, before launching into “Sweet Little Lies.”
Raiding the back catalogue did not let up, with “Dreams,” with the fingerless glove wearing Nicks entering full gypsy mode to the delight of the crowd.
By now many of the crowd were on their feet, and were suddenly treated to the Neil Finn show, which began with a “Kia ora Dunedin”.
Finn, who tells the crowed “I used to be in a band called Split Enz”, has obvious crowd-pleasing chemistry with Nicks.
The pair sing together on “I Got You,” featuring a nicely done backing video of Frankestein’s monster.
But an early highlight would be “Rhiannon,” with Nicks, who is now in fine voice, acknowledging the crowd with a trademark deep bow.
Finn takes lead on “World Turning,” which usurps into Mick Fleetwood taking centre stage. And take it he does.
An eye-popping 15 minute drum solo includes the band’s namesake asking the crowd if they want to “release the hounds”.
It’s Campbell’s turn next to show his fretboard wizardry on “Oh Well,” which sets up the stage for Finn.
It’s arguably the biggest song of the night when Finn, armed with just an acoustic guitar, starts to sing Crowded House classic “Don’t Dream It’s Over.”
“I can hear you Dunedin,” he tells the crowd, who don’t remind him that a third of the audience is from Christchurch, and then “I can see you” when thousands of lights illuminate the venue.
He is joined by Nicks, who later tells the crowd of her love for that Kiwi classic, “a song like that only comes around once in a life time”.
Not to be outdone she later launches into “Landslide,” with the lyric “And I’m getting older, too” resonating for many.
Fleetwood himself shares a yarn over his admiration for Finn, which allows the Kiwi to raid some of his back catalogue at a concert for one of the world’s best selling bands.
So your tour downunder may be finished Fleetwood Mac, but don’t dream it’s over.
This was the last of five concerts as part of Fleetwood Mac’s 2019 New Zealand tour.
Hamish McNeilly / Stuff (New Zealand) / Sunday, September 22, 2019
Fleetwood Mac’s Sydney show was a touching celebration of their legacy and longevity
There aren’t many bands in the world with a history and legend as colourful as Fleetwood Mac.
For over 50 years, we’ve listened and watched in rapt attention as they weathered love, break-ups, infighting, drug addictions, and loss in the public arena — pouring it all into songs that defined multiple generations.
It’s not like these years are long behind them either — last year’s news that longtime guitarist and songwriter Lindsey Buckingham had been unceremoniously booted from the line-up didn’t come so much as a surprise as it just felt like Fleetwood being Fleetwood. As writer David James Young described for Junkee at the time, there are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and some sort of drama in the Fleetwood Mac camp.
The decision to replace Buckingham — an unenviable task, given his towering presence within the band and on-stage — with both Neil Finn and Tom Petty and Heartbreakers’ guitarist Mike Campbell was inspired. Throughout the lengthy show at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena (their 65th of their current tour) they don’t harshly impose on the chemistry of the original members, and Campbell’s dynamic and ferocious guitar playing is one of the highlights of the evening.
Finn, particularly, looked like he was having the time of his life, beaming and flicking his silver hair across his face. It’s clear the crowd are happy to see him too — he arguably gets a bigger roar then any of the original Fleetwood members when he’s introduced. A homegrown (well, close enough) boy done good.
“Remember, you’re out of the inner city now, so that means you can have a good time. You can drink and dance as much as you like,” Finn told the Sydney crowd halfway through the show, ribbing the city’s scorned lockout laws. “You know you want to.”
Indeed, one of the highlights of the night comes not from a Fleetwood track, but from the Crowded House catalogue. “Don’t Dream It’s Over” is gifted to a sea of waving phone lights and singing audience members (one punter near me was overwhelmed from the off, shouting “Oh FUCK!” the moment Finn opened his mouth).
As for the original band members, they are clearly still relishing the opportunity to be on-stage. Mick Fleetwood is relentlessly energetic, whether he’s slamming down the first kick drum of opener “The Chain,” or grabbing a bongo and leading the audience through his 15-minute drum solo. Christine McVie and John McVie are more restrained, the former’s voice a little rattled from the long years, but she nonetheless strongly leads the charge through crowd favourites “Say You Love Me” and “Everywhere.”
A MILLION COVER BANDS CAN TRY — BUT THERE’S A MAGIC TO THESE SONGS BEING WIELDED BY THEIR WRITERS THAT IS SIMPLY UNTOUCHABLE.
And, of course, there is Stevie Nicks. Dressed, as usual, in all black and a shawl, clutching her tambourine, her magnetism is palpable, and though she noticeably avoids any of the high notes she could hit back in the day, it doesn’t matter. Her voice rolls out richly across the arena during tear-jerking classics like “Dreams” and “Rhiannon,” and she transcends during “Gold Dust Woman,” twisting in the gold light.
There’s a certain mental dislocation in witnessing these songs played live. Like first glimpsing a landmark you’ve seen depicted in thousands of films and on postcards, the cadences and lyrics are so etched within your brain that finally hearing them delivered by their creators is almost disorienting. A million cover bands can try — but there’s a magic to these songs being wielded by their writers that is simply untouchable.
Two moments in particular bottled the magic: the chill-inducing “Landslide,” delivered acoustically by Nicks and Finn right after “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” and the Tom Petty tribute “Free Fallin’,” set against a slideshow of Petty’s life in photos. Even the notoriously terrible “Don’t Stop” — which has to be, if not the worst recorded song of all time, then certainly the worst Fleetwood Mac song — is elevated in the celebratory surroundings.
“Take care of yourselves,” Mick Fleetwood says as parting words after a long standing ovation. “And take care of each other, and thank you for allowing us to keep doing this.”
Given the well-documented dramas they’ve endured over the decades, you assumed by now Fleetwood Mac were pretty much invincible.
However reuniting that classic Rumours-era line-up back for the 2014/2015 tour proved they had one more soap opera-style twist up their billowing sleeves.
So in 2019, it’s either this Lindsey Buckingham-free version of Fleetwood Mac or nothing.
But the chain’s been broken and repaired so many times over the years change is the only constant in the band’s line-up.
It speaks volumes that Buckingham’s replacements are local hero Neil Finn and former Tom Petty guitarist Mike Campbell.
Finn does their songs, then they do Split Enz’s “I Got You” — which he reveals he wrote and recorded in Melbourne, where he also got his “first perm” which Stevie Nicks turns into a full duet.
She then sings the third verse of Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream it’s Over” (also written in Melbourne) a song you didn’t think could be improved — Nicks tells Finn it’s a “once in a lifetime song”.
They’ve dived deeper into Mac history this time — the 50 year old “Man of the World” and underrated Christine McVie penned 1982 hit “Hold Me” joining regulars “The Chain,” “You Make Loving Fun,” “Go Your Own Way,” “Everywhere,” “Little Lies,” “Say You Love Me” and “Don’t Stop” (but sadly no “Sara” or “Songbird”).
It’s a Stevie Nicks-heavy night and there’s nothing wrong with that at all when the living legend steers “Dreams,” “Rhiannon,” “Gypsy,” “Gold Dust Woman” and a particularly magical “Landslide.”
They’re the timeless classics that keep seeing Mac tours draw younger and younger audiences.
And considering their unpredictable history, you wouldn’t put it past them to patch it up with Buckingham for one final farewell tour in a few years’ time.
Fleetwood Mac plays Rod Laver Arena again tomorrow, Saturday and Monday — the final dates on this Australian tour.
Cameron Adams / Herald Sun (Australia) / Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Fleetwood Mac – Rod Laver Arena , Melbourne
Monday September 2, 2019
Review: Greg Phillips. Photos: Jason Rosewarne
In an era full of so much forgettable, disposable pop music where today’s chart topper is just as sure to be tomorrow’s compost, it’s comforting to know that there’s always Fleetwood Mac. Born in the late sixties, the band has often gone through personnel changes from the Peter Green blues days, to the game-changing Buckingham Nicks inclusion, to the in and outs of McVies and a cavalcade of guitarists such as Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan, Bob Welch, Billy Burnette and Rick Vito. However, when it was announced last year that Lindsey Buckingham had been sacked and replaced by Crowded House’s Neil Finn and The Heartbreakers’ Mike Campbell, you’d be forgiven for checking to see if the date was April 1st. It was with much anticipation that Fleetwood Mac fans awaited first news of how this strategy would play out live on stage. Initial reviews of the band’s American tour were favourable but obviously Australian fans were keen to judge for themselves and finally our leg of the world tour had arrived … tonight it was hello Melbourne!
Fans outside nervously checked their watches and the black clouds above as they endured the long wait to get into the venue due to the added security and unique Rod Laver Arena queuing system (i.e. none). The first night crowd of a four date residency is always going to be full of the band’s biggest fans and the excitement in the air was tangible. Finally around 8.20pm, Fleetwood Mac Version 2019 hit the stage and launched into “The Chain” from 1977’s mega-selling Rumours album. Back in the day, the song was used as a show stopping encore but with an unlimited supply of hits in the catalogue and a point to prove, they came out punching hard. The signature interconnecting guitar parts between Finn, Campbell and additional guitarist Neale Heywood were working a treat and vocally they were hitting all the right notes as well. “Little Lies” then drew our focus to Christine McVie and the realisation that there is a ridiculous amount of talent in this band. “Dreams” followed with the crowd joining Stevie Nicks in singing the iconic lyrics, “Thunder only happens when it’s raining.” Whether you’d never learned the words intentionally, we all know them via osmosis anyway, these songs are part of our DNA.
“Black Magic Woman,” a song made famous by Santana, was a staple of the original Fleetwood Mac and this was the first of three nods to the Peter Green-era catalogue for the night. This band’s rendition was powerful. For Neil Finn, who spent a significant part of his musical life in Melbourne, this evening was like bringing the band home to meet the family. Taking front of stage to acknowledge the part this city has played in his career, they launched into a punchy version of the Split Enz tune “I Got You” and the crowd quite naturally went nuts for it. It would be a tough call to top that one but Rhiannon was always going to do the trick, named in a Rolling Stone magazine list as one of the greatest songs of all time.
The percussive nature of “World Turning” gave band founding member Mick Fleetwood licence to indulge in an extended drum solo showcasing his exuberant eccentricity and it was also a chance to feature master percussionist Taku Hirano. Tonight there would be no filler, Fleetwood Mac are in the business of hits and they continued to flow. Stevie Nicks and “Gypsy” from 1982’s Mirage album had the audience singing and swaying again … not that they’d ever stopped.
Neil Finn then plucked out the obscure but beautiful Peter Green tune Man of the World before Mike Campbell took the spotlight to firstly salute Mick Fleetwood and John McVie as the world’s longest standing rhythm section and secondly, to lead the band in the avalanche of guitar riffs that define Green’s classic tune “Oh Well.”
The impossibly tall frame of Mick Fleetwood left his drum kit fortress again to introduce a song which “touched his heart” from the moment he first heard it. In a show full of highlights, Neil Finn performing “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” a song written in Melbourne, sung to and sung by a Melbourne audience, was indeed a special moment. Session stalwart Ricky Peterson added a sublime touch on keys. Stevie Nicks took the time to remind Neil that it’s a “once in a lifetime” song and that he should never forget it. Finn responded by suggesting that Nicks herself had written some significant tunes and one of her finest, “Landslide” followed, with the Melbourne crowd once again singing along to every word.
There’s a touch of the Rolling Stones Rock ’n’ Roll Circus or even Joe Cocker and Leon Russell’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen about this band at the moment, so much rock history on stage and so much legendary music coming off it. Rather than any hint of a farewell, this mix has opened up a pandora’s box of new possibilities.
With our heartstrings well and truly tugged and so many classic Mac songs already in the can, it’s with a sense of wonder that an even higher level of nostalgia overload is achieved with “You Make Loving Fun,” “Gold Dust Woman” and “Go Your Own Way.” If you hadn’t already been struck in the feely bits, then “Free Fallin’,” the tribute to Tom Petty featuring footage of Tom and his guitarist Mike Campbell on screen certainly did it. The connection between Nicks and Petty and Campbell’s inclusion in this band suddenly made a lot of sense. “Don’t Stop” was a fitting end to the party and a comprehensive end to any speculation that his collection of seasoned pros couldn’t pull off a truly great rock show. Tonight was not only a celebration of one of the world’s finest ever rock bands but also a nod to an era of songwriting talent that we’ll probably never experience again.
Fleetwood Mac play Rod Laver Arena again on:
Wednesday September 4 Saturday September 7 Monday September 9
Eighteen months ago, it seemed positively absurd that someone like Neil Finn – a well known musician and songwriter in his own right who had by no means put his feet up – could, or even would, join a band like Fleetwood Mac. Perhaps it still does.
But on Monday as they touched down in Melbourne, the final destination in their Australian visit, the new-look band proved for the 72nd time (that’s how far they are into this world tour) that replacing long-time guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Lindsey Buckingham with Finn was in fact a stroke of genius.
Opening with Finn fronting “The Chain” may have seemed like an eff you to Buckingham were it not already the band’s long-standing opening number. Finn took up the mantle with gusto. Sporting a messy quiff worthy of his younger days, it was joyous to watch him rock out like a pig in shit.
The punch with which he delivered the vocal line was surprising; this is a more forceful style than most of Finn’s own songs. But he owned it by putting his own subtle spin on phrasings, proving he’s no carbon copy of his predecessor. When you’re Neil Finn, there’s really no need for that.
Stevie Nicks, meanwhile, all but commanded the stage for the duration of the gig, even when she was not fronting. No surprises there. With trademark flowing black threads, playing air drums on her tasselled tambourine, the black magic woman had the 16,000-strong audience under her spell.
At 71, Nicks’ distinctive vocals still cut through. She has modified some melodies to a lower register– notably in “Dreams” – but Finn, and two tucked away backing vocalists, carried the rest, ensuring no drama was lost. Nicks seemed to become both more ethereal and more animated as the night went on.
Christine McVie’s voice on the other hand, much more mellow than Nicks’, was all but swamped in the band’s big sound. No one really cared: “Everywhere” was an invitation to sing along and dance in the aisles.
That Finn was the right choice for the band – at least here in Melbourne, where he wrote many of his hits and, we were told, where he got his first perm – was none more apparent than when the band launched into “I Got You.”
Can you call it a cover when the person who wrote the song is now in the band?
Let’s be clear, this is Fleetwood Mac playing Split Enz. Can you call it a cover when the person who wrote the song is now in the band?
As if to answer, we had clips from The Bride of Frankenstein playing above the stage. The whole thing was brilliant. More Frankenbands, please.
Later, Finn would play “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” now with added sparkles (chimes) and met with swaying phone lights in the auditorium.
Of course, there’s another new addition to the band: former Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell, who delivered Fleetwood Mac’s many soaring guitar solos with colour and precision. An encore of Petty’s “Free Fallin’,” to a photo montage of the late singer sharing the stage variously with Campbell and Nicks, was heartfelt and well received.
Even for a band with so many bangers, there were a few songs that felt like filler in the latter half of the two-hour set, including an extended Mick Fleetwood drum solo during which the rest of the band took a break (as did some in the audience). But the energy with which Fleetwood still thumps that kit more than 50 years on, and the pure, unadulterated glee on his face as he does it, says something about why this band endures.
Hannah Francis / Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) / Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Rhino/Warner Bros. Records will be reissuing another deluxe edition of Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 album Rumours to coincide with the band’s remaining 2019 North American tour dates. The latest 4CD package, out October 25, compiles tracks from the previously released 2004 and 2013 reissues of the album. The package is a slimmed-down version of the 6-disc set released in 2013, less The Rosebud Film DVD and Rumours LP.
Disc 1 – 2004 Remastered Album
1. Second Hand News
3. Never Going Back Again
4. Don’t Stop
5. Go Your Own Way
7. The Chain
8. You Make Loving Fun
9. I Don’t Want to Know
10. Oh Daddy
11. Gold Dust Woman
12. Silver Springs
Disc 2 – Live (2013 Remaster)
1. Intro (Live 1977)
2. Monday Morning (Live at The Fabulous Forum, Inglewood, CA 08/29/77)
3. Dreams (Live 1977)
4. Don’t Stop (Live 1977)
5. The Chain (Live 1977)
6. Oh Daddy (Live 1977)
7. Rhiannon (Live 1977)
8. Never Going Back Again (Live 1977)
9. Gold Dust Woman (Live 1977)
10. World Turning (Live at The Fabulous Forum, Inglewood, CA 08/29/77)
11. Go Your Own Way (Live 1977)
12. Songbird (Live 1977)
Disc 3 – Early Takes (2013 Remaster)
1. Second Hand News (Early Take)
2. Dreams (Take 2)
3. Never Going Back Again (Acoustic Duet)
4. Go Your Own Way (Early Take)
5. Songbird (Demo)
6. Songbird (Instrumental, Take 10)
7. I Don’t Want to Know (Early Take)
8. Keep Me There (Instrumental) [2013 Remaster]
9. The Chain (Demo)
10. Keep Me There (2013 Remaster)
11. Gold Dust Woman (Early Take) [2013 Remaster]
12. Oh Daddy (Early Take)
13. Silver Springs (Early Take)
14. Planets of the Universe (Demo) [2013 Remaster]
15. Doesn’t Anything Last (Acoustic Duet) [2013 Remaster]
16. Never Going Back Again (Instrumental)
Disc 4 – Sessions, Roughs & Outtakes (2004 Remaster)
1. Second Hand News
3. Brushes (Never Going Back Again)
4. Don’t Stop
5. Go Your Own Way
7. Silver Springs
8. You Make Loving Fun
9. Gold Dust Woman #1
10. Oh Daddy
11. Think About It
12. Never Going Back Again (Early Demo)
13. Planets of the Universe (Early Demo)
14. Butter Cookie (Keep Me There)
15. Gold Dust Woman (Early Demo)
16. Doesn’t Anything Last (Early Demo)
17. Mic the Screecher (Jam Sessions)
18. For Duster (The Blues) (Jam Sessions)
Since it began as a British rock band in 1967, Fleetwood Mac has undergone 19 iterations while steadily adding Americans and, most recently, a New Zealander to its line-up. Its only remaining founding member is drummer Mick Fleetwood, who recently described each version of the group as “incredibly different musical episodes in this Shakespearean play we blundered into.”
Whether at work, at play, at each others’ throats or at risk of dying young from excessive drug consumption, this group of artists has produced some of the finest songs in popular music, which is why tickets to these tours continue to sell at premium prices, and why audiences continue to show up by the tens of thousands.
Few albums in rock ’n’ roll history have sold more copies — or prompted more commentary about the unique interpersonal dynamics that surrounded its creation — than 1977’s Rumours. Towards the end of the year of its release, the group — Fleetwood, singer Stevie Nicks, singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, singer-keyboardist Christine McVie and bassist John McVie — visited Australia for a tour named Rockarena, on a bill that also featured Santana and Little River Band.
As documented in Iain Shedden’s 2010 biography of promoter Michael Chugg, the instruction from the band’s Los Angeles headquarters before its arrival was this: “The promoter’s rep will meet the band’s tour manager in the car park of Sydney Airport with two ounces of cocaine.”
On stage at each show were two tents with card tables laden with powder-filled Heineken bottle tops pushed together to form capsules. “During the performance, each of the band in turn would wander off to get a little card table action,” Chugg recalled. “All of them except drummer Fleetwood. His needs were somewhat greater than those of his colleagues, so he had his own card table within arm’s reach just behind him.”
Such indulgence is not necessarily conducive to longevity. Thankfully, all five of the musicians who appeared on that tour 42 years ago are still with us, though Buckingham no longer is with the band. His sacking was announced in April last year, prompting acrimony — with this band, was there any other way? — followed by lawyerly interventions and an eventual settlement.
Taking his place as lead vocalist for the band’s current Australian tour is Neil Finn, while the bulk of Buckingham’s lead guitar work is handled by Mike Campbell. Both are familiar and comfortable with playing arenas, with their acts Split Enz and Crowded House, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, respectively.
Personnel changes aside, the chief challenge of writing hit songs in your 20s and 30s is figuring out how to carry those arrangements into your 60s and 70s with energy and vitality. Only fools would expect facsimiles of the original recordings from a hard-living act with this many kilometres on its collective odometer, yet to its credit Fleetwood Mac shoulders that weight of history without much of a struggle.
Whether through technical issues or some other unseen force, though, the opening salvo at the first of three shows at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Tuesday night failed to connect.
What was intended to be a walloping opening combination of three of its most popular songs in “The Chain,” “Little Lies” and “Dreams” instead came across as sluggish and wayward.
From that underwhelming point, however, the six main players — backed by another keyboardist, guitarist, percussionist and two back-up singers — gathered a momentum that continued for more than two hours. The first truly beautiful moment was Christine McVie’s “Everywhere,” whose stacked vocal harmonies in the chorus perfectly exemplified the classic sound that endeared this group to millions of fans.
There is no escaping the fact Nicks’s voice has changed in the years since she laid down the evocative chorus to “Rhiannon,” but what she lacks in a higher register is covered by the extraordinary tones she still coaxes from the middle and lower end of her range. Towards the end of the 21-song set list she performed “Gold Dust Woman” with a sincerity that was mesmerising.
The abundance of musicians on stage meant that some of the band’s most layered songs were overwhelmed by a busy mix. This was most apparent on “Go Your Own Way,” which was dominated by acoustic guitar and percussion, burying John McVie’s bass. It was only halfway through that Campbell’s lead parts were pushed to the fore, allowing the song — and the set — to end on a high, with he and Finn locking into an extended jam before the drummer brought it to a thumping close.
With his rock-dog persona Campbell, wearing his uniform of black hat and sunglasses, fits right into this group of weirdo outsiders who somehow ended up, despite themselves, at the centre of popular culture. Before the second song finished, he had played three guitars; by set’s end, that number had reached double figures. His playing covered Buckingham’s exhaustingly diverse range of techniques, styles and parts, while his fellow newcomer was allowed to take a few leads, too.
Finn’s addition to the group has been of particular interest to this part of the world, with the sheer curiosity of the Crowded House frontman being sucked into the machinations of this rock institution perhaps providing reason enough to convince a few fence-sitters to open their wallets to see how he performs on this tour. The Kiwi rose to the occasion with aplomb, alternating between the spotlight and stepping back as needed. As well, he was at the centre of two towering mid-set highlights.
With an acoustic guitar in hand and backed by the gentle playing of a keyboardist and percussionist, he sang his 1986 hit “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” prompting phone torches held aloft throughout the arena. Nicks joined him for the final verse and chorus, then told him a song like that came along only once in a lifetime. “So good one, Neil,” she said. “Now I’ve got to try to follow that.”
She then bested him, as only Nicks could do, with the cutting beauty of 1975’s “Landslide,” featuring Finn beside her on acoustic guitar. Her timeless song about the passage of time takes on more meaning and pathos with each passing year. When one of the most remarkable voices in music history sang those lines — “But time makes you bolder, even children get older / And I’m getting older too” — at 71 years, the result was a poetic resonance that surely would have made Shakespeare shed a tear, too.
Fleetwood Mac’s tour continues in Brisbane (tonight and Saturday), followed by Sydney and Melbourne.
Andrew McMillen is an award-winning journalist and author based in Brisbane. Since January 2018, he has worked as national music writer at The Australian. Previously, his feature writing has been published in The New York Times, Rolling Stone and GQ. He won the feature writing category at the Queensland Clarion Awards in 2017 for a story published in The Weekend Australian Magazine, and won the freelance journalism category at the Queensland Clarion Awards from 2015–2017. In 2014, UQP published his book Talking Smack: Honest Conversations About Drugs, a collection of stories that featured 14 prominent Australian musicians.
If their songs weren’t so strong, endurance may be Fleetwood Mac’s greatest legacy
Thirty minutes into Fleetwood Mac’s set at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre this week, Stevie Nicks admitted that she didn’t realise “Black Magic Woman” was a Fleetwood Mac song until well after she’d joined the band.
It’s an astounding admission. Sure, the song had been popularised by Santana’s 1970 cover, but to not know the extent of your new band’s catalogue – especially the hits – before joining is almost unthinkable.
But this says more about the strange and complex entity that is Fleetwood Mac than it does Nicks’ own knowledge gaps. This is a band whose history is confusing, whose music is wildly diverse, and who continue to keep us guessing.
Who would have thought that we’d still be seeing Fleetwood Mac in 2019? Moreover, who’d have thought that Neil Finn and Tom Petty collaborator Mike Campbell would join the band?
You don’t get a timeline like this without a strange history.
That’s why the prospect of seeing this wildly new incarnation of one of the history’s most celebrated rock bands doesn’t seem completely unfaithful. Consistency is not Fleetwood Mac’s strong-point. When their line-up has remained staid, their very existence has been precarious, reportedly fraught with infighting and ill-feelings.
If nothing else, you have to respect the band’s endurance. That they are still touring in any form feels almost miraculous.
But are they any good?
Having not witnessed Fleetwood Mac in the 1970s or 80s, I can’t faithfully suggest that they were perhaps once a better live prospect. But given the way that songs like “Say That You Love Me” and “Rhiannon” lose steam soon after their iconic intros, you’d want to hope so.
It’s not that they are bad, it’s just that Nicks and Christine McVie don’t have the vocal ranges of their younger selves. At 76 and 71 respectively, can we really expect them to?
The mix sounds thin and disjointed, miles away from the taut and compressed radio-ready production on their classic records. The atrocious acoustics of the embarrassing, cavernous venue in which they play offer no assistance in this regard either.
One aspect of this band that remains amazing is their musicianship. Mick Fleetwood’s drumming is thunderous, Christine McVie’s flawless keyboard work remains the unsung hero of the band, and it seems clear the whole operation would fall over without John McVie’s quiet contribution on bass.
Finn is predictably solid in taking Lindsey Buckingham’s spot out the front of the band, while Campbell’s effortless (and tasteful) shredding is enough to make you wish the Heartbreakers made one more trip to Australia before Tom Petty’s passing. It’s nice to see him with such a prominent gig though, and he more than makes the most of it.
Many of the songs shine; Stevie Nicks saves her best performance for “Gold Dust Woman” towards the set’s end, reminding us that it remains a special cut of psychedelic pop. The all-in sing-alongs of “Go Your Own Way,” “The Chain” and “Dreams” stand up as titanic forces of popular music. It feels significant to be in their very presence.
Fleetwood Mac remain a capable band, but to say that they are at the top of their game would be a bald-faced lie.
What is the point of Fleetwood Mac in 2019?
Legacy is a strange thing in music. Some bands go to extreme lengths to ensure theirs remains intact, knocking back lucrative opportunities so not to sully the good name and reputation of their group.
But what if your band’s legacy has always been a little bit crooked? What if the band was already something of a mess before its most popular line-up coalesced?
For some, Fleetwood Mac’s finest legacy ends with founding member Peter Green, whose bluesy vision on their first album is a million miles from the pop heights the band would soon hit.
For others, the thought of Fleetwood Mac without Lindsey Buckingham is unconscionable.
There is no perfect distillation of Fleetwood Mac. No epitome. They are an ever-changing beast whose endurance would be their greatest legacy if they didn’t have so many amazing songs.
With most members now well into their 70s, you wonder whether they’re doing the right thing by continuing to milk this band when their best performing years are behind them.
But I saw the faces of the eager fans who’ve gleefully let this band soundtrack their lives. I watched them dance, I heard them unabashedly scream along to those big hits.
They didn’t care about the past or the future of Fleetwood Mac, they were just thankful to see these songs come to life in front of them.
Maybe, after all these years, we need to acknowledge that Fleetwood Mac is more about its fans than its members.
No amount of over analysing will change the fact that this is a band that still matters to so many. If they can continue to spread their joy, who are we to question it?
Thursday 22 August – Brisbane Entertainment Centre Saturday 24 August – Brisbane Entertainment Centre Tuesday 27 August – Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Thursday 29 August – Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Monday 2 September – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Wednesday 4 September – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Saturday 7 September – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Monday 9 September – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Last night, Fleetwood Mac descended on Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena. The band treated fans to a career-spanning setlist that proved that though 50 years into their career, the band are not one to rest on their laurels.
The show was Sydney’s first taste of Fleetwood Mac in their new form. Last year, longtime singer, guitarist and songwriter Lindsey Buckingham was “let go” from the band after they reached a boiling point over touring disagreements. Buckingham was replaced by New Zealand royalty, Neil Finn of Crowded House and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers guitarist, Mike Campbell.
Whilst it would be futile to deny that the absence of Buckingham was not felt; the new lineup revitalized the band in other ways. The addition of Finn on vocals has ushered in a new era for Fleetwood Mac, one that feels fresh and exciting. The Fleetwood Mac of today is not some hodge-podge operation tenuously thrown together in an attempt to ride the coattails of former glory. Rather, they are a band with a passion that feels tangible, that reinvented themselves out of necessity.
There is nothing mutton-dressed-as-lamb about Fleetwood Mac. Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks ooze the same impossibly cool, bewitching energy that they possessed in 1977. To be in the presence of these two magical women was nothing short of transformative. The pair worked their way through Christine’s romantic proclamations (“Little Lies,” “Everywhere,” “You Make Loving Fun”), and Nicks’s haunting musings (“Dreams,” “Rhiannon,” “Gold Dust Woman”) with chemistry that felt otherworldly.
Midway through the set, Mick Fleetwood delivered a drum solo that sent the arena into a trance-like state. Commanding the stage with his bellowing confidence and infinite mojo, he barked the orders, “unleash the hounds! unleash the hounds!. It was chaotic and hypnotizing.
Finn fans left satiated after the band delivered not one, but two cuts from his back-catalogue. The first came in the form of Split Enz track “I Got You”. A performance that Finn prefaced, revealing that when the track broke international waters, Stevie Nicks would watch it on MTV and weave her own harmonies.
The band’s cover of Crowded House anthem “Don’t Dream It’s Over” incited the most passionate sing-a-longs of the evening. To hear Nicks and Finn perform a track that is so deeply ingrained in the DNA of Australia was monumental.
Mac took a moment to honour the legacy of the great Tom Petty. Performing a heart-rending cover of his perennial song ‘Free Falling’, the track was backed with a slideshow of the late musician through the decades.
The concert was a welcoming haven for all walks of life. Teenagers who had ruthlessly pre-gamed with Passion Pop and old men in their Zimmer frames all united in song and dance to the beckoning call of “Go Your Own Way.”
Fleetwood Mac’s Australian tour is set to continue with a second show at Qudos Bank Arena on Saturday. Catch the band at one of their remaining tour dates below.
Fleetwood Mac 2019 Australian Tour
Thursday, 29th August
Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Monday, 2nd September
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Wednesday, 4th September
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Saturday, 7th September
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Saturday, 9th September
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
S. B. Williams / Tone Deaf / Friday, August 16, 2019
‘It’s a love story really’: Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks on wooing Neil Finn; Fleetwood Mac brought ‘secret weapon’ Finn into the fold after an ‘incredibly sad, incredibly challenging’ time
Mick Fleetwood described Crowded House frontman Neil Finn as a “secret weapon” he held onto for two decades, before asking him to fly to Hawaii to audition for Fleetwood Mac.
In April 2018, it was announced that longstanding member Lindsey Buckingham would be leaving the band, to be replaced by Finn and Mike Campbell, the guitarist from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Ahead of the band’s Sydney stadium show on Thursday night, Fleetwood told a small industry audience the “magical” story of how he met Finn.
“It’s a long story — it’s over 20 years long. But it’s a lovely story. It’s a love story, really,” he said. “I’ve always, right from the beginning, loved his songwriting — especially one song that drove me over the wall — ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ — years and years ago.”
Fleetwood had been a Crowded House fan “right from the beginning”, he said, but the pair didn’t meet until 1999 at Concert for Linda: a benefit tribute to Linda McCartney held at Royal Albert Hall. Finn was playing with the Pretenders; Fleetwood Mac was on hiatus.
“I didn’t know him from Adam, but later on that night just happened to be sitting with him,” Fleetwood said. “And I wasn’t doing anything, so I said, ‘Would you like to form a band?’ Drummers say that when there’s nothing happening,” he laughed.
“We had a great night, and broke a couple of glasses — so to speak — and then wandered off. And it never went anywhere.”
Finn and Fleetwood didn’t meet again until “I don’t know, 15 years later”, at the New Zealand Music awards in Auckland. “Going down the corridor I see him, and he said, ‘Do you remember me?’, and I said, ‘Of course I do! I’m your superfan!’. We went to dinner, and ever since then have remained and are incredibly close friends.”
Fleetwood told Finn that if he ever needed a drummer, “just let me know” — so when Finn and his son Liam began planning their collaborative 2018 album Lightsleeper, Finn cashed in the offer: “He said, ‘Are you serious?’ and I said, ‘Absolutely’.”
Fleetwood and his partner Chelsea rented a house in Auckland for six weeks. “We became a very, very close family [with the Finns] and helped out with their family album, which was totally cool. And that was that. And then this happened,” he said, referring to the departure of Buckingham.
The decision to hire Mike Campbell came easy — “both Mike and Tom [Petty] were very close to Stevie [Nicks]” — but finding a vocalist was harder. “We went through some suggestions — some of them were great, but they just weren’t right,” said Fleetwood, who admitted it nearly ended with the band saying “we can’t find anyone”.
“But then to be really truthful, I had my secret weapon … I said, ‘I would like to suggest that Neil Finn flies to Hawaii’, where we all were doing this.”
When he called Finn, he told him, “It’s not really an audition” — but it sort of was. Finn — who was at a soundcheck at the time — said “let me just take a breath … I’ll phone you tomorrow.” Fleetwood thought the jig was up.
“I thought, well, it was worth a try. But he phoned back and said, ‘Look. I’m not worried about all this thing about is it an audition. Who wouldn’t want to come — whether they succeed or not — and just play with Fleetwood Mac?'”
“It’s not a shaggy dog story,” Fleetwood said. “It is huge. And it’s magical. This funny relationship that I had with Neil, neither of us knowing why it was that we had passed in the dark so many times. And now we know.”
The current lineup is the 19th iteration of Fleetwood Mac, each of which Fleetwood described as “incredibly different musical episodes in this Shakespearean play we blundered into”.
Fleetwood — the only remaining founding member — didn’t reveal what was at the heart of the split with Buckingham, but he described it as “incredibly sad, and incredibly challenging. And incredibly — just — nowhere else to go.
“I’ve said it before: we were not happy. And that was really the crux of all the details that don’t need to be known,” he said.
“We decided as a band, are we continuing or not? … And I’m doing what I always do, which is, you know, keep the band together.
“Sometimes I look back wondering whether I’ve done the right thing. I think we did.”
Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks is also a longtime fan of Finn’s. Back in the 1980s she would make up her own harmonies to “Don’t Dream It’s Over” when it was played on MTV.
“A song like that comes around once in a lifetime,” she told the crowd from the stage on Thursday. “If you have one of those songs you have to sing it all the time, and you truly forget how good it is. So I have to remind him — and then I have to follow it up.”
The pair performed “Don’t Dream” together, and followed it up with “Landslide.
* Fleetwood Mac’s Australian tour continues through August and September, before the band head to New Zealand on September 14
Credit: Composite: Paul McMillan/Samir Hussein/Paul Miller/Getty/AAP
Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, and new Fleetwood Mac band member Neil Finn.
Credit: Photograph: Duncan Barnes
Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and Neil Finn performing on the Australian leg of Fleetwood Mac’s 2019 tour.
Steph Harmon / The Guardian (UK) / Friday, August 16, 2019
The soundtrack of my youth was eclectic. Seattle grunge bands. Alan Parsons Project. Chemical Brothers. Tchaikovsky. Spice Girls. The Doors. Radiohead.
But it was my dad who introduced and captivated my ears with the signature sounds of the 60s and 70s. The Beatles. Pink Floyd. America. Simon and Garfunkel. And of course Fleetwood Mac.
It was Perth in the 80s. Dad would hit the road in our orange Datsun 180B, cassette tape playing, as we set off on the de rigueur summer holiday down south.
I sat squished between my siblings. A towel splayed across the back seat, protecting the backs of our legs from third degree burns threatening to percolate from the vinyl seats on a scorcher.
A lot has changed over the decades, including for the legendary Fleetwood Mac who kicked off the Australian leg of their tour at RAC Arena on Friday night.
The Grammy award-winning band has sustained more melodrama than an episode of The Bachelor over the past 52 years.
Most recently the unceremonious dumping of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham who reportedly reignited his feud with ex-lover Stevie Nicks on the eve of their world tour.
Enter the new line-up of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Nicks, and Christine McVie, along with newcomers Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and adopted Aussie Neil Finn of Crowded House fame.
Fleetwood Mac kicked off their Perth gig with “The Chain” released on their critically acclaimed, best-selling album Rumours. It was followed by hits “Little Lies” and “Dreams” before Finn took the lead vocals on “Second Hand News.”
Say You Love Me was followed up with Black Magic Woman. It seemed apt with Nicks dressed head-to-toe in black, long blonde locks flowing over a shawl, working the stage like a mythical occult leader.
“Everywhere” was followed by the Finn-fronted Spit Enz hit, “I Got You.”
Finn appears a left-field choice. An unlikely coupling, but a match made in heaven. Like a great Kiwi pinot with a hunk of nutty gruyere.
Mike Fleetwood said the group has always been about an amazing collection of songs performed with a unique blend of talents. And the chemistry with Campbell and Finn really works, It’s something new, yet it’s got the unmistakable Mac sound.
“Rhiannon” drew huge cheers from the crowd, but “World Turning” didn’t appear to be a fan favourite with a mini exodus for the bar.
The nostalgic swaying started when “Gypsy” played and was followed by “Oh Well” recorded by the band in 1969.
With Fleetwood Mac 63 shows into their world tour the fatigue was at times palpable notably from Christine McVie and Nicks. But then these seasoned rockers are no spring chickens with most of the band firmly in septuagenarian territory.
With a little help from Nicks, Finn dug out the Crowded House anthem “Don’t Dream It’s Over” prompting a sea of mobiles to come out in a flickering tribute to one of our nation’s favourite songs. Nicks told the crowd that a “magnificent” song like this comes along once in a million years.
While “Go Your Own Way” is rapidly becoming a licensing tragedy courtesy of an overplayed car commercial, the rousing rendition delivered a standing ovation.
The night took a sombre turn as a slideshow of the late Tom Petty played on the screens while the band played “Free Fallin’.”
The night was nearly over but it couldn’t end without an encore. It was time for “Don’t Stop.”
As the haunting guitar-based instrumental “Albatross” filled the Arena, concertgoers took their cue and flocked to the exits. A wave of nostalgia washed over me and I couldn’t help wishfully thinking it seemed only natural that Crowded House should reunite for a tour. It’s been too long.
Fleetwood Mac will perform their second Perth show tonight, Sunday, August 11.
Sarah Brookes / Western Suburbs Weekly / Sunday, August 11, 2019
If Lindsey Buckingham must be replaced, best to do it with the likes of Neil Finn and Mike Campbell. In the legendary band’s latest incarnation, the magic of the music lives on
**** (4 out of 5 stars)
Fleetwood Mac at RAC Arena, August 2019
RAC Arena, Perth
The tracklist featured highlights from the band’s long career – with nods to Crowded House and the Heartbreakers too. Photograph: Duncan Barnes
Fleetwood Mac are a lore unto themselves. While the Rumours-era line-up holds the romance (mostly broken) for the majority of its fandom, it is the 11th line-up in a total of 19. This is a band who, aside from the rock-solid rhythm section footing of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, has weathered more life and loss than most. Anyone else, no matter how famous or beloved, has come and gone … some returning, and then going again.
So despite the uproar that followed the 2018 announcement that Lindsey Buckingham had been let go, it was, in the context of history, less of an anomaly and more a case of showbusiness-as-usual. The regard held for new members Neil Finn and Mike Campbell is clear and present all evening on the opening night of the band’s Australian tour – from the sentiments offered from the stage by Fleetwood, vocalist Stevie Nicks and vocalist/pianist Christine McVie, to the time given to showcase the talent of the new breed.
Mick Fleetwood walks out onstage first to a legion of cheers, promptly applauding the crowd before his bass drum brings in “The Chain” and his bandmates take the stage. It’s spine-tingling from the get-go; Stevie Nicks is reassuringly draped in black with sleeves, long lace, braids and beads on her microphone stand and arms, while John McVie’s classic bass intro to the song’s outro is just well, classic. Notably, Neil Finn on guitar/vocals is immediately a strong presence as is former Heartbreaker Mike Campbell, who owns the lead break.
“Welcome Perth. We’ve done 62 shows in the US and Europe and this is show 63,” Nicks says by way of greeting. The singing icon sounds worryingly hoarse, but her voice warms to the occasion within a few songs.
Stevie Nicks and Neil Finn Crowded House’s Neil Finn looks ‘like a kid who cannot believe his luck’. Photograph: Duncan Barnes
Christine McVie’s “Little Lies” raises spirits and hands, and “Dreams” is suitably dreamy: Nicks’ voice folds warmly into it, her hands exuberantly working a tambourine. A huge chandelier hangs from above, its grandeur complemented by video screens switching from noir-framed mansion staircases to sunny Californian coastlines in washed-out ‘70s colour.
Fleetwood Mac, as such, are augmented by keyboardist Ricky Peterson, guitarist Neale Heywood, percussionist Taku Hirano and backing vocalists Marilyn Martin and Sharon Celani, though everyone is working up a storm onstage. Second Hand News finds Finn on lead vocal, turning slightly sideways to face Nicks as they sing, similar to the time-honoured manner she did with Buckingham.
“Say You Love Me” brings the smiles, but when Nicks introduces Black Magic Woman claiming that she initially thought it was by another big band (that’s Santana, by the way), she takes band-founder Peter Green’s vocal and sings it “from the eyes of a woman and here she comes now”. The song becomes an extended blues jam, all personnel shining, all giving each other perfect space.
“Okay now for a complete contrast,” says Christine McVie, as the pop feel of “Everywhere” is followed by the Finn-fronted Split Enz hit, I Got You. The contrast continues with “Rhiannon” immediately bringing the crowd to its feet. There’s tingles aplenty as the older voice gives new weight to this dark, Welsh tale and Nicks receives absolute applause for her signature song.
Live set mainstay, “World Turning,” is led vocally by Finn and McVie but remains Fleetwood’s showcase, from the video montage of the man through the years to his wild, lively call-and-response drum solo, which features master percussionist Hirano. He soon comes to the front of the stage armed with his beloved African talking drum, shouting joy at the crowd before the band closes the song, and Fleetwood delivers some loving band introductions, notably for Campbell and Finn, the latter’s name almost bringing down the roof. McVie is described as “the songbird”, Nicks the “eternal romantic” and lastly, bassist John McVie as being “always on my right-hand-side, no doubt the backbone of Fleetwood Mac”.
Nicks’ eternal romance is showcased in “Gypsy” and “Landslide,” though those two songs are split by Campbell fronting a mean and dirty run through Peter’s Green’s “Oh Well”: all riffage and world-weary with angry-young-man attitude.
From rock to jewel, Fleetwood gives a heartfelt introduction to Finn’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over”. The Crowded House staple is delivered with expected tender gusto from Finn, but as Nicks takes the lead on the final verse it steps into a previously unexpected dimension. “A song like that comes along once on a million years,” she says at the end. “It’s magnificent.”
In 1982, “Hold Me” – from the band’s album Mirage – was quite the hit single, but over the years seems largely forgotten in the haze of decades of multi-platinum success. Tonight it returns, a compelling soft-rocker that allows each member to shine. It’s followed by Christine McVie’s Rumours-era track “You Make Loving Fun,” about the man she left John McVie for in 1977. One wonders what he makes of it all, playing this irresistibly giddy love song every night on tour.
From Rumours’ happiest moment to perhaps its most ominous, “Gold Dust Woman” find Nicks in a golden shawl, delivering a trademark dark Hollywood Hills evocation. It’s a bravura performance that inspires a fair few arms-undulating “Stevies” in the audience, too.
“Go Your Own Way” provides a majestic and rousing end to the main set, with Finn – having completed a winning lead vocal – ending the song on the drum riser, eye-to-eye with Fleetwood, looking for all the world like a kid who cannot believe his luck.
Campbell, meanwhile, continues to bring a raw swagger to the lead breaks. With a slideshow of the late Tom Petty through the decades showing on the screens, the man’s sterling single “Free Falling” features Nicks on lead vocals. The whole thing is just poignancy personified, and there’s eyes out there just bursting to water.
“Yesterday’s gone,” as the final song for the night, “Don’t Stop,” accurately reminds us. Buckingham’s gone too, and while his name is not uttered from the stage, his mark is still there. If an icon must be replaced, best do it with those who have excelled in their own 40-plus year careers. This is yet another worthy incarnation of the band called Fleetwood Mac, and as the members – older and newer – sauntered offstage it was a rather emotional Fleetwood who farewelled the full-house with the words, “be kind to one another. We love you so much”.
The saga that continues to be Fleetwood Mac suggests that kindness may have taken a backseat on occasion, as it does for us all. However as the Peter Green-penned instrumental Albatross echoes across the arena upon exit, it’s another reminder that what truly remains is the music: from all of those Fleetwood Mac members, and for all of us.
Fleetwood Mac’s Australian tour continues through August and September, before the band head to New Zealand on September 14
Bob Gordon / The Guardian (Australia) / Friday, August 9, 2019
Fleetwood McDonalds workers meet Fleetwood Mac after Stevie Nicks campaign goes viral
Crew members at a McDonalds in Fleetwood have met Fleetwood Mac, after thousands of Facebook users joined a campaign calling for singer Stevie Nicks to work a shift at their restaurant.
The event on Facebook by ‘Be Reet’ called upon the legendary singer to head to the Lancashire branch of the fast food chain, which is almost the namesake of her iconic band.
While the petition prompted 20,000 signatures, it was the band who instead invited the McDonalds workers to attend their sold out show at Wembley Stadium last night (June 18).
A photo taken backstage (see above) shows the crew hanging out with the likes of Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, John McVie, Christine McVie and the rest of the band, before being given the chance to watch them from the side of the stage.
“It was a fantastic evening seeing Fleetwood Mac live and to have the opportunity to share the experience with some of the Fleetwood team,” Nigel Dunnington, the franchisee of Fleetwood McDonald’. “I’m still amazed the band got in touch – we’re lucky our restaurant shares a name with such an iconic band.
“Going down to the concert has been an incredible way to recognise some of our amazing employees. And, if Fleetwood Mac ever find themselves in the Fleetwood area, we’d love to return the favour and invite them back.”
Chelsea, a crew member at the restaurant, added: “I can’t believe we met Fleetwood Mac before they performed tonight. We listen to their songs all the time but nothing beats seeing them live – it’s been incredible!”
“After ‘Fleetwood Macs’ met Fleetwood Mac, the restaurant team left the stage wings and enjoyed a night of live entertainment. Needless to say, they were lovin’ it.”
Meanwhile, it was recently rumoured that Fleetwood Mac could be set to headline Glastonbury 2020.
As the backbone of rock legends Fleetwood Mac for more than 50 years, Mick Fleetwood has enjoyed more debauchery, hard living than just about anyone else.
Now 71, he became renowned as one of the wildest men in music, and in an exclusive interview during Fleetwood Mac’s world tour he even confirms a long-standing tale about a seven-mile line of cocaine.
Chatting in a dressing room, where his only indulgence is a glass of red wine, drummer Mick says: “We could sit here and I go into some war story about snorting seven miles of cocaine.
“I guess we figured we did X amount a day, and then some goofball got out a calculator and came up with that seven miles figure and said, ‘Isn’t that funny?’ And it sort of is. But not in the context of where I want to end up.
“There was never a conscious decision on my part to stop that lifestyle. I think it naturally just drifted away.
“I speak for myself, although Stevie (Nicks) has been outspoken about some of the choices she made too.
“It came to an end, thankfully. Because, God forbid, it could easily have ended the really bad way — for sure, that could have happened. In some ways I’m happy I got through it and didn’t bite the big bullet. But I just had a profound awareness and a realisation that enough is enough.”
Larger than life, both in personality and physically, 6ft 5in Mick laughs as he recalls the tale about coke — known as gak — that was first made by a former sound engineer. But he adds: “I’m conscious that I want to speak appropriately about this. Because the romance of those war stories can adulate something which is not a good idea.
“The truth is the truth. But in many ways we shared too much information. Looking back, I can see an element of responsibility which I now regret not seeing before.”
The band’s world tour arrived in London last night, as they performed to a capacity 90,000 crowd at Wembley Stadium, with a second date tomorrow before they head to Australia, having already crossed much of North America.
The gigs pack in decades of hits and have received rave reviews for a band that is renowned for its ability to reinvent itself after a string of line-up changes sparked by internal feuding.
But as Mick Fleetwood admits, the acrimonious exit of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham 18 months ago after he refused to go on tour could have marked the end of one of rock’s great names. Instead he was replaced by two newcomers — Neil Finn of Crowded House and guitar virtuoso Mike Campbell.
I don’t think there will be a point where the band’s former members all end up back in a good place together.
Mick says: “Lindsey’s departure was traumatic and a major change for the band, but we decided we wanted to carry on. We made the decision together. Of course, we could have just stopped and it probably would have been an easy point to stop, but we definitely didn’t want to.
“Lindsey left fairly acrimoniously and we weren’t getting on well any more, and yes, it is a happier ship to be on. We have two new people in the band who have been hugely accepted and welcomed, but in many ways it does amaze me that we are still here all these years later, after all of the ups and downs.
“Me and John (McVie) sometimes talk about it — we look around and say, ‘How did that all happen?’”
Mick confirms to me bluntly that he has not spoken to Lindsey since their bust-up, and adds: “I don’t think there will be a point where the band’s former members all end up back in a good place together.
“If you’d asked me that years ago I would have said so, being the old dreamer that I tend to be.
“But now I just accept things how they are, and try to be civil and open. All of these lovely people have put their hearts and souls into Fleetwood Mac, and the franchise should absolutely honour those people in every way, and it does.
“The music comes back to haunt everyone afterwards anyway — and usually that wins out in the end.”
He continues: “There’s no doubt those were hard-lived days. For a while within Fleetwood Mac there were romances and that lifestyle you mention and the other stuff got forgotten — and we really asked for that trouble.
“We were too open about who we were and what we were doing — probably very naïve.
“All anyone ever asked about was ‘Who is sleeping with who?’ or ‘Who is angry with who?’ And you start to feel it’s a shame.
“Now they intelligently talk about what we did musically. That’s import- ant to us. We never wanted to make fools of ourselves too many times.”
Today Mick accepts the band will not last for ever and says: “We’ve had a hell of a ride and we continue to, it’s amazing, really. We know that there’s an end in sight.
“People ask, ‘When are you going to hang it up?’ I’m asked, ‘Why are you still doing this? Need the money?’
“But imagine asking Paul McCartney or Elton John, the Rolling Stones — hugely iconic people, and you know they don’t need the money. It’s simply a case of that’s what they do.
“And this is simply what we do. It’s a huge privilege — and it isn’t really any more complicated than that.”
Rough translation by Google Translate and DeepL Translator
At their only German concert, the mega-band of the Seventies and Eighties plays many hits through 52 years of band history.
Berlin — Both arms raised in greeting, Mick Fleetwood flashed a victory sign. A good omen. And in fact, Fleetwood Mac are cashing it in. Already by the second song “Little Lies,” the sold-out Waldbühne is on its feet. The smartphones ready to record the gig for eternity, the audience sing and dance along.
Despite the onset of rain, from which many a spectator would flee to the home sofa, the mood is dazzling in Berlin’s most beautiful open-air arena. No wonder. At their only German concert, Fleetwood Mac play their hits, like “Rhiannon,” through 52 years of band history.
With Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Christine McVie, the original lineup of Rumours, the legendary 1977 album that sold more than 40 million copies, is on the stage. But missing is core guitarist and songwriter Lindsey Buckingham. After 43 years together, the band split up from internal quarrels in 2018.
New to Buckingham’s line-up is Mike Campbell. He earned his merits as guitarist of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. He is listed as one of the world’s Top 100 on the silver six strings by Rolling Stone magazine. The second replacement is bassist Neil Finn. The New Zealander became known as the singer and songwriter of the bands Split Enz and Crowded House. He takes over the guitar as well as the vocals of Buckingham. Just like Campbell with virtuoso mastery.
Fleetwood Mac celebrated at the Berlin Waldbühne
By the way, changing musicians is nothing new for Fleetwood Mac. Originally founded in 1967 by guitarist Peter Green, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie as a purely British blues band, the latter two have since been the only constant members of the band. In the Seventies, Fleetwood Mac turned to rock. New members were singer Christine McVie, briefly married to bassist John, and Lindsey Buckingham, who brought his girlfriend Stevie Nicks. Like Christine McVie, a sensational songwriter with her distinctive mezzo, she became the front woman of the band.
It is also the four long-time band members who are met with the greatest sympathy by the audience, now all over seventy, musically still as brilliant and fresh as ever. The Waldbühne celebrates the mega-band of the Seventies and Eighties. With around 22,000 spectators, all age groups are represented. And everyone gets their money’s worth.
When the musicians aren’t there, all sorts of kitschy motifs to the songs flicker on the LED screens. For example, horses galloping wildly through the water or a pink moon suitable for the romantic-melancholic tone of the poems of Stevie Nicks. She refines classics like “Dreams” and the soulful ballad “Landslide” with her wonderfully smoky voice. But also “Black Magic Woman.” The song written by Peter Green was a worldwide success in Santana’s version. Even the hot duet between Nicks and Campbell’s guitar could easily storm the charts.
Of course, there’s also one of Mick Fleetwood’s rich, epic drum solos. The rough, rocky compositions also provide variety. With multi-faceted arrangements, catchy melodies and lush harmonies, interwoven to a powerful sound, the band brings the open-air arena to a boil on this rather cool evening.
At the end there are cheers, whistles and deserved applause for a phenomenal concert.
Ulrike Borowczyk / Berliner Morgenpost / June 6, 2019
Fleetwood Mac rocken die Waldbühne trotz Regens
Beim einzigen Deutschlandkonzert spielt sich die Mega-Band der Siebziger und Achtziger mit vielen Hits durch 52 Jahre Bandgeschichte.
Berlin. Beide Arme zur Begrüßung hochgereckt, ist Mick Fleetwood ein fleischgewordenes Victory-Zeichen. Ein gutes Omen. Und tatsächlich lösen Fleetwood Mac es ein. Schon beim zweiten Song „Little Lies“ steht die ausverkaufte Waldbühne Kopf. Die Smartphones im Anschlag, um den Gig für die Ewigkeit aufzuzeichnen, singen und tanzen die Zuschauer mit.
Trotz des einsetzenden Regens, vor dem mancher Zuschauer aufs heimisches Sofa flieht, ist die Stimmung blendend in Berlins schönster Open-Air-Arena. Kein Wunder. Fleetwood Mac spielen sich beim einzigen Deutschlandkonzert mit ihren Hits durch 52 Jahre Bandgeschichte, wie „Rhiannon“.
Mit Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks und Christine McVie steht die Originalbesetzung von „Rumours” auf der Bühne. Dem legendären Album aus dem Jahr 1977, das sich über 40 Millionen Mal verkaufte. Allerdings fehlt Stamm-Gitarrist und Songwriter Lindsey Buckingham. Nach 43 gemeinsamen Jahren trennte man sich nach bandinternen Querelen 2018.
An Buckinghams Stelle neu im Line-up ist Mike Campbell. Seine Meriten erlangte er als Gitarrist von Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Vom Fachblatt Rolling Stone wird er als einer der 100 Weltbesten auf den silbernen sechs Saiten gelistet. Die zweite Neubesetzung ist Bassist Neil Finn. Der Neuseeländer wurde als Sänger und Songwriter der Bands Spit Enz und Crowded House bekannt. Er übernimmt neben der Gitarre auch den Gesangspart von Buckingham. Genau wie Campbell mit virtuoser Könnerschaft.
Fleetwood Mac von der Berliner Waldbühne gefeiert
Wechselnde Musiker sind übrigens nichts neues bei Fleetwood Mac. 1967 ursprünglich von Gitarrist Peter Green, Drummer Mick Fleetwood und Bassist John McVie mal als rein britische Bluesband gegründet. Die beiden Letzteren sind seither die einzige konstanten Mitglieder der Band. In den Siebzigern wandte sich Fleetwood Mac dem Rock zu. Neue Mitglieder waren Sängerin Christine McVie, zeitweise mit Bassist John verheiratet, sowie Lindsey Buckingham, der seine Freundin Stevie Nicks mitbrachte. Wie Christine McVie eine sensationelle Songwriterin. Mit ihrem markanten Mezzo avancierte sie zur Frontfrau der Band.
Es sind denn auch die vier langjährigen Bandmitglieder, denen die größte Sympathie der Zuschauer entgegen schlägt. Mittlerweile alle über siebzig. Musikalisch immer noch so brillant und frisch wie eh und je. Die Waldbühne feiert die Mega-Band der Siebziger und Achtziger. Bei denn rund 22.000 Zuschauern sind alle Altersklassen vertreten. Und alle kommen auf ihre Kosten.
Wenn nicht gerade die Musiker zu sehen sind, flimmern allerlei kitschige Motive zu den Songs über die LED-Screens. Etwa von wild durchs Wasser galoppierenden Pferden oder ein rosaroter Mond. Passend zu den romantisch-melancholischen Tondichtungen von Stevie Nicks. Sie veredelt mit ihrer wunderbar rauchigen Stimme Klassiker wie „Dreams” und die gefühlige Ballade „Landslide”. Aber auch „Black Magic Woman“. Der von Peter Green geschriebene Song war in der Version von Santana ein Welterfolg. Auch das heiße Duett zwischen Nicks und Campbells Gitarre könnte glatt die Charts stürmen.
Selbstredend gibt es auch eines der satten, epischen Schlagzeug-Soli von Mick Fleetwood. Für Abwechslung sorgen zudem die rauen, rockigen Kompositionen. Mit facettenreichen Arrangements, eingängigen Melodien und üppigen Harmonien, verwoben zu einem kraftvollen Sound. Die Band bringt damit die Freiluft-Arena an diesem eher kühlen Abend ein ums andere Mal zum Kochen.
Zum Schluss folgen Jubel, Pfiffe und verdienter Applaus für ein phänomenales Konzert.
Ulrike Borowczyk / Berliner Morgenpost / June 6, 2019
Despite the weather forecast of thunderstorms, the concert went on as scheduled as concert goers wrapped up in raincoats and ponchos for protection. Whether the weather or a curfew had any part in the apparent set list omissions (“Gold Dust Woman” “All Over Again”) is unclear. But judging from social media reactions, fans still had a great time.
Backstage with Michael Campbell, Sharon Celani and Marilyn Martin
Live Nation European Tour Description
Legendary, GRAMMY-award winning band Fleetwood Mac announce a European tour, set to kick off in June with three exclusive performances currently announced in London, Dublin and Berlin. Produced by Live Nation, the tour will feature the newly announced line-up of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Christine McVie along with newcomers Mike Campbell and Neil Finn.
In this behind-the-scenes look at the making of Fleetwood Mac’s epic, platinum-selling double album, Tusk, producers and engineers Ken Caillat and Hernan Rojas tell their stories of spending a year with the band in their new million-dollar studio trying to follow up Rumours, the biggest rock album of the time.
Following their massive success, the band continued its infamous soap opera when its musical leader and guitarist, Lindsey Buckingham, threatened to quit if he didn’t get things his way, resulting in clashes not only with his band but especially Caillat, who had been essential to the band’s Grammy-winning sound.
Hernan Rojas’s story recounts a young man who leaves Chile after General Pinochet’s coup to seek his future in the music industry of Los Angeles, where he finds success at one of the hottest studios in town. When Fleetwood Mac arrives, Rojas falls in love with its star singer, Stevie Nicks, and the two of them become romantically involved.
Throughout the book, both Caillat and Rojas detail not only the trials and sacrifices they made to finish the album, but also triumphs of musical inspiration and technical innovation that have made Tusk the darling of music critics and indie rockers today.
For Record Store Day 2019, Fleetwood Mac will be releasing The Alternate Fleetwood Mac (1975) on 180-gram black vinyl. The release features alternate versions from the deluxe edition of Fleetwood Mac (2017) and a difference album cover. #RSD2019
Musician alleges breach of fiduciary duty and breach of oral contract, among other charges, after firing earlier this year
Lindsey Buckingham has filed a lawsuit against Fleetwood Mac for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of oral contract and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, among other charges, according to legal documents obtained by Rolling Stone. The group parted ways with Buckingham in January and replaced him with Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and Neil Finn of Crowded House. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, states that he asked the group to postpone their tour three months so he could play shows with his solo band. He says plans were in place for the Rumours-era lineup to play 60 shows across North America when he was let go without warning.
“This action is necessary to enforce Buckingham’s right to share in the economic opportunities he is entitled to as a member of the partnership created to operate the business of Fleetwood Mac,” the complaint states.
The complaint offers a detailed look at the buildup to Buckingham’s departure from the band, going back to late 2017 when the group began plotting a 2018/19 world tour. It claims that Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Christine McVie wanted it to begin in August of this year, but Buckingham wanted it to start in November so he could tour behind his new solo release. When the others refused to delay the plans, the suit claims, he reluctantly agreed to postpone his album for a year to accommodate their wishes.
The suit alleges that a deal was made with Live Nation that would earn each member of the group an estimated $12 million to $14 million for 60 concerts. When Buckingham learned the group only wanted to play three shows a week, he asked permission to book his own shows during off-days. The band played the MusiCares benefit on January 26th, 2018 and two days later Buckingham learned they were carrying on without him.
“By excluding Buckingham from participating in the 2018-2019 Fleetwood Mac tour in breach of their fiduciary duties of loyalty and good faith and fair dealing,” reads the complaint, “the Defendants intentionally acted to interfere with Buckingham’s relationship with Live Nation and the prospective economic benefit he was to receive as a result of his participation in the tour.”
The complaint also states that “there has never been a written agreement among Christine McVie, John McVie, Buckingham, Fleetwood and Nicks,” but California’s Uniform Partnership Act of 1994 says that “absent a written partnership agreement, no partner in Fleetwood Mac may be terminated from the Partnership without cause.”
It ends with a copy of an e-mail that Buckingham sent to Mick Fleetwood on February 28th of this year where he tried to hash things out. “In the month since MusiCares I’ve tried to speak to both you and Stevie, to no avail,” he wrote. “I’ve only gotten radio silence this whole time. I haven’t tried Chris as I thought she might be feeling a bit fragile. I even e-mailed John, who responded that he couldn’t have contact with me … All of this breaks my heart.
“After 43 years and the finish line so clearly in sight, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that for the five of us to splinter apart now would be the wrong thing,” Buckingham added in the e-mail. “At the moment, the band’s heart and soul has been diminished. But our center, which had seen us through so much, is only laying dormant.”
“Last January, Fleetwood Mac made the decision to continue to tour without me,” Buckingham said in a statement to Rolling Stone regarding the suit. “I remain deeply surprised and saddened, as this decision ends the beautiful 43-year legacy we built together. Over the last eight months, our many efforts to come to an agreement have unfortunately proved elusive. I’m looking forward to closure, and will always remain proud of all that we created, and what that legacy represents.”
A spokesperson for Fleetwood Mac provided Rolling Stone with a statement on the lawsuit: “It’s impossible for the band to offer comment on a legal complaint they have not seen. It’s fairly standard legal procedure to service the complaint to the parties involved, something that neither Mr. Buckingham nor his legal counsel have done. Which makes one wonder what the true motivations are when servicing press first with a legal complaint before the parties in dispute.”
Buckingham left Fleetwood Mac for the first time in 1987 shortly after the release of their hit album Tango in the Night, but rejoined in 1996 along with the rest of the Rumours-era lineup for the lucrative Dance reunion album and tour. He remained in the lineup over the next two decades, though old tensions remained, especially in the past few years when Nicks refused to record a new album with the band.
“I don’t think there’s any reason to spend a year and an amazing amount of money on a record that, even if it has great things, isn’t going to sell,” Nicks told Rolling Stone last year. “What we do is go on the road, do a ton of shows and make lots of money. We have a lot of fun. Making a record isn’t all that much fun.”
Buckingham had a very different read on the situation and wanted the band to be an ongoing creative unit. In 2012, he attempted to rally the group to record a new album, but was unable to get anything more than a four-song EP. “Stevie wasn’t really into doing it,” he told Rolling Stone. “She wasn’t into it at all. But I went ahead and got John [McVie] and Mick [Fleetwood] over from Hawaii and we cut eight new songs of mine. All of them were done in the proper key for Stevie’s voice, if she were to sing the songs …That didn’t happen. I really just think she didn’t want to do an album.”
The group toured in 2013 and again the following year when Christine McVie returned to the band after a two-decade break, but things grew tense when they began plotting out another tour for this year. “We were supposed to go into rehearsal in June and he wanted to put it off until next November,” Nicks told Rolling Stone in April. “That’s a long time. I just did 70 shows [on a solo tour]. As soon as I finish one thing, I dive back into another. Why would we stop? We don’t want to stop playing music. We don’t have anything else to do. This is what we do.”
The group then recruited Campbell and Finn into the lineup to take his place. Despite that, they were unwilling to say that Buckingham was fired. “Words like ‘fired’ are ugly references as far as I’m concerned,” Fleetwood told Rolling Stone in April. “Not to hedge around, but we arrived at the impasse of hitting a brick wall. This was not a happy situation for us in terms of the logistics of a functioning band. To that purpose, we made a decision that we could not go on with him. Majority rules in term of what we need to do as a band and go forward.”
Earlier this month, Buckingham broke his silence about the situation in an interview with Rolling Stone’s David Fricke. In his telling, he learned he was leaving the band on January 28th when Irving Azoff, the group’s manager, called him while he was watching the Grammys. Two days earlier, Fleetwood Mac played the MusiCares benefit show at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. According to Azoff, Nicks was angry that Buckingham smirked while she delivered a speech at the event. She was also upset over his angry reaction to the decision to play a recording of “Rhiannon” while they took the stage. “Stevie never wants to be on a stage with you again,” Buckingham said Azoff told him.
The guitarist thought that meant that Nicks was leaving the band. It was only a few days later when nobody in the band would return his e-mails that he feared something else was going on. He phoned up Azoff and learned that he was “getting ousted” from the band and they were going to carry on without him. “I don’t think there was ever anything that was just cause to be fired,” he says. “We have all done things that were not constructive. All of us have worn on each other’s psyches at times. That’s the history of the group.”
UPDATE (10/12): “Fleetwood Mac strongly disputes the allegations presented in Mr. Buckingham’s complaint and looks forward to their day in court,” a rep for the band said Friday. “The band has retained Dan Petrocelli to handle the case.” Petrocelli, a Los Angeles attorney, had previously represented the Eagles’ Don Henley and Glenn Frey in their lawsuit against Don Felder, who was fired from the band in 2001.
Andy Greene / Rolling Stone / Friday, October 12, 2018
I believe that Tango In The Night is a better album than Rumours.
Some people express their most contrary opinions because they crave attention. I do it purely because I hate to lie. To myself, and to you.
Look, I have Fleetwood Mac issues. Endless car trips soundtracked by their long and boring 1997 live album The Dance will do that to you. I’m aware of their legacy, all 17 (!!) albums of it, but they don’t move me in the same way they do most.
Yes, I know and love the Peter Green debut album. And yes, I have come to begrudgingly admit that Rumours is among the most important rock records ever made, with a hell of a story behind it.
Tusk has its moments, sure. Had Ween released “The Ledge” a decade later, I’d probably be trying to convince you it’s a masterpiece.
But when it comes to the Mac, I’m all about Tango… and you can’t take that away from me.
It’s the overlooked classic in Fleetwood Mac’s arsenal. Of course, overlooked is a relative term. It’s their second highest selling records – over 15 million copies sold, thank you very much – but in the shadow of Rumours, sometimes it feels like it doesn’t even exist.
I’m certain there’s a strange subconscious reason behind my preference of Mac albums. I was still in nappies when Tango was released, and I’m sure its songs were probably inescapable across TV and radio. Maybe the slickness was easy for my developing mind to absorb, or maybe it’s just one of those things, how we always look fondly upon the music of our childhood.
And can we talk about that slickness? This album is like an 80s sportscar; it’s dated and ostentatious, perhaps laughably so in some cases, but you can’t help but marvel at the way its put together.
The synths. The drums. The weird grunts in “Big Love.” Everything shimmers. For a band who had been around for 20 years, and who’d had their biggest hit a decade earlier, the record was remarkably on trend.
And it largely happened on the band’s own terms.
The gargantuan team that revolved around Fleetwood Mac wanted – nay, needed – a hit record, presumably to retain their jobs. So, they hatched a plan to get the band back on the charts.
“It had been so long since we had interacted that lawyers and people like that were sort of getting into it,” guitarist and vocalist Lindsey Buckingham told Creem. “Their idea of how to get Fleetwood Mac back together to make an album was to bring in a young, hot producer.
“But it just didn’t work out that way: he didn’t know how to handle us salty old guys—and I realized, too, that if we were going to do it all, it just wasn’t our style to go in half-assed and be a part of something that was piecemealed together.
“So, this guy went back to New York and Richard [Dashut, long-time Fleetwood Mac producer] and I sort of took over and went from there.”
One of the best things about the record is how it serves as a kind of middle finger. A kiss off at critics who were ready to report that the band was dead. A shot fired at anyone who figured the band were about to slide into the annals of history, rather than make something as vital as their 1977 breakthrough. This was Fleetwood Mac proving that they were still relevant.
But the best thing about the album is its songs. Particularly its first side. Opener “Big Love” is good, second track “Seven Wonders” is great, and track three, “Everywhere,” is pop brilliance so refined that it deserves to be in a museum. A song so perfect that its very existence makes you happy to be alive. It’s joy incarnate.
Perhaps the only thing really missing from Tango is a little more Stevie Nicks. Her performance on “Seven Wonders” – co-written with her friend Sandy Stewart – is strong enough that it could have been her only contribution and she still would’ve remained a matchless part of the band. But it’s an album with less of her stamp than Stevie fans would like.
There are many reasons why this might have been the case.
Firstly, Nicks was making and promoting a solo record [1985’s Rock A Little] while the sessions for Tango… were happening. While Lindsey Buckingham channelled all his energy into the band, Nicks wasn’t interested in Fleetwood Mac being the only musical feather in her cap.
Some reports suggest that Nicks wasn’t all there when she was in the studio, getting bored almost immediately and drunk just as quickly. Nicks was fresh out of rehab and recording the album at Buckingham’s house, which he shared with his girlfriend Cheri Caspari.
“I can remember going up there and not being happy to even be there and we were doing vocals in their master bedroom and that was extremely strange,” she told the Miami Herald in 2016.
“In all fairness, it was like the only empty room and they had a beautiful master bedroom all set up like a vocal, booth but I found it very uncomfortable, personally.
“I guess I didn’t go very often and when I did go I would get like, ‘Give me a shot of brandy and let me sing on four or five songs off the top of my head.’
“And then I was on Klonopin and not quite understanding why I was feeling so weird and this doctor kept saying, ‘This is what you need.’ It’s the typical scenario of a groupie doctor. Discuss rock’n’roll with you, so in order to do that he would keep upping your dose so you’d come in once a week.”
Then there’s the fact that bad blood between Nicks and her former boyfriend – and Tango’s creative controller – Buckingham never really subsided.
“The other members of Fleetwood Mac, from the beginning, have always been lovely to me, have always known how important my songs are to me, whereas, with Lindsey, he would rather I just stayed at home doing laundry,” Nicks told BAM in October 1987.
Neil Finn and Mike Campbell have recently joined Fleetwood Mac to replace Buckingham. It all came as a bit of a shock, but it’s not the first time this had happened.
It was in the wake of Tango… that Buckingham left the band for the first time, to be replaced on the ensuing tour by session players Rick Vito and Billy Burnette.
“We’re closing in on 20 years and there’s a time to put everything to rest and get on with other things, and I would like to do that,” Buckingham told Creem magazine in 1987.
“During the sessions, we sensed this was probably the last thing Lindsey would do with us,” Christine McVie told BAM.
“It was sort of said, but not said, you know? He admitted his solo career was becoming his priority. But by the end of the album, he did sort of agree to tour, then at the eleventh hour, he just pulled out, saying that he simply couldn’t cope with it.”
Mick Fleetwood later expressed regret at how little kudos Buckingham got for his part in Tango…
“He was coerced and persuaded to do that album – mainly by me,” the drummer told Classic Rock magazine in 2013. “And, to his credit, he put aside everything that he’d dreamt of doing, including making his own album, for Fleetwood Mac; but then realised that he’d made a mistake…
“Lindsey was not being heard. We just didn’t get it.”
I’m not here to convince you that Rumours is overrated. But, as this band’s legacy becomes more and more about one big album, I urge you not to forget Fleetwood Mac’s 1987 pop classic.
It’s not a flawless record. “Family Man” is just a bit too ridiculous and hasn’t aged all that well, nor has the lite-disco romp “You And I, Pt. II.”
But Tango In The Night deserves to be more than a footnote in the Fleetwood Mac story. More than a mere afterthought offered once you’ve exhausted yourself talking about cocaine, Rumours and how much they all hate each other.
And for those pariahs, like me, who just don’t get their kicks from Rumours, maybe this will serve as a more effective entry point into the world of Fleetwood Mac.
Watch Fleetwood Mac’s September 21st performance of “Don’t Stop” at the iHeartRADIO Festival in Las Vegas. The performance was rebroadcast on the CW Network on Monday, October 8th. The clip includes host Ryan Seacrest’s pre-show interview with Stevie Nicks.
Live Review: Fleetwood Mac Revisit History and Try to Move On at Chicago’s United Center (10/6)
Neil Finn and Mike Campbell work hard to replace the magic of Lindsey Buckingham
Return of the Mac? Earlier this year, longtime singer, guitarist, and principal songwriter Lindsey Buckingham was fired from Fleetwood Mac — or rather “let go,” if we want to be cordial. “Words like ‘fired’ are ugly references as far as I’m concerned,” drummer Mick Fleetwood told Rolling Stone of the departure. “Not to hedge around, but we arrived at the impasse of hitting a brick wall.”
In the same interview, singer, songwriter, and tambourine maestro Stevie Nicks cleared things up, saying: “We were supposed to go into rehearsal in June and he wanted to put it off until November . That’s a long time. I just did 70 shows [on a solo tour]. As soon as I finish one thing, I dive back into another. Why would we stop? We don’t want to stop playing music. We don’t have anything else to do. This is what we do.”
And so, the official story is that Buckingham wanted to chill, they wanted to go, but then you hear Buckingham’s side of the story: “I think what you would say is that there were factions within the band that had lost their perspective. The point is that they’d lost their perspective. What that did was to harm – and this is the only thing I’m really sad about, the rest of it becomes an opportunity – it harmed the 43-year legacy that we had worked so hard to build, and that legacy was really about rising above difficulties in order to fulfill one’s higher truth and one’s higher destiny.”
In other words, nothing has changed over the last 40 years with these folks.
It Takes Two: Well, that’s not exactly true. Some things have changed, particularly the addition of Crowded House frontman Neil Finn and former Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell, who both get the rewarding journey of trying to make everyone forget about Buckingham. Not surprisingly, the rest of the band turned a cold shoulder on their old friend, partner, and lover, leaning curiously heavy on their salad days, as if to say, “Look, this band’s always been more than Lindsey,” which, look, they’re not wrong, but it also seems a tad convenient.
But convenience has been king in this situation for the band, as Fleetwood cheekily told Billboard: “It’s ironic that we have a 50-year package coming out with all the old blues stuff with Peter Green, all the incarnations of Fleetwood Mac, which was not of course planned. But that’s what we’re feeling, especially myself and [bassist] John [McVie], having been in Fleetwood Mac for 55 years. So it’s exciting, totally challenging in the whole creative part of it, and we’re really loving it.” It’s a nice coincidence that works wonders for the outfit right now.
Still, the addition of Finn and Campbell only stresses the impossibility of replacing Buckingham, seeing how it took two musicians to swap out one. Granted, Finn gets the job done (especially on the harmonies for hits like “The Chain” or “Go Your Own Way”), and you even get to hear him duet his band’s biggest hit (“Don’t Dream It’s Over”) with Nicks, but it’s impossible to buy any of the band’s theatricality, which has always been one of their on-stage trademarks. Even when they were phoning it in, you at least knew there was a history there.
Perhaps that’s why Campbell is the easiest new face to consider. Given his ties with the band, the legendary Heartbreaker actually makes sense, and there’s at least some narrative to be felt — even outside of the Mac. After all, here’s a guy who’s still reeling from the tragic passing of his brother-in-arms Tom Petty, and so, this gig actually winds up being the perfect opportunity for him to grieve the loss. Seeing him up there, bouncing around and adding a curveball to Buckingham’s signature riffs and scales was admittedly quite an enigmatic experience.
Though, when it came time to actually pay homage to Petty, the band more or less fumbled. Instead of covering “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” or “Insider” or “I Will Run To You” or any of the multiple Petty-Campbell-Nicks options out there, they stuck to the predictably simple sing-a-long of “Free Fallin’”. Sure, it was “nice” to hear Nicks take the reins on the legendary FM hit, but c’mon, this was a chance to dig deep and do something really special. Instead, it all felt so lazy, and it didn’t help that Getty-stamped photos were flashing in the background throughout the cover.
The True Mac Daddy: Nicks sounds straight off the vinyl. Fleetwood can bang a drum like he’s in his thirties. John McVie is still John McVie. Hell, we’ll even give a round of applause to Finn for giving the second-best Buckingham impersonation after Bill Hader. But, the true Mac Daddy of the night was Christine McVie. The band’s oft-forgotten vocalist and keyboardist has only been back with the gang for a little over four years, after retiring from the stage in 1998, and she proves on this tour why her loss is paramount.
Not only does she lead the group’s more accentuated hits — ahem, “Everywhere” and “Little Lies” — but she also oozes with character, opting to go off-script in ways that felt incredibly natural and jamming out like the biggest fan in the room. She also hardly took a break like, say, Nicks, who would vanish from time to time. (That’s no dig on Nicks; this writer would have passed out 15 minutes into the show.) No, McVie’s a trooper from beginning to end, and blame it on Buckingham’s absence, but her presence is far more defined on this go-around.
So much so that the entire set ends with an unlikely duet between McVie and Nicks on “All Over Again”, a deep cut off of 1995’s Time, the first album at the time not to feature Nicks since 1974’s Heroes Are Hard to Find. It’s a bold move by the band, given that it’s hardly an epic closer or anything, but it’s a smart move. Seeing the two of them setting aside their differences and sharing the spotlight felt like a proper moment to end on. If anything, it feels emblematic of a time when women have never been more united.
It was beautiful.
That One Song: It’s a tossup between “Little Lies” and “Rhiannon”. The former is one of those bops you tend to forget, only to hear again and say, “Oh my god, I love this fucking song,” while the latter is a legend in its own right. When Nicks began singing the mesmerizing ballad, which dates all the way back to 1975, she had the support of every single soul in the audience. Those who were leaving to get beer or hit the john quickly ran back to their seats. Those who were waiting to hear it all night bled their lungs out. Those who have loved this band forever and ever were in tears. It’s the song and always will be the song, and as long as Nicks is around, it’ll always be the song of the Mac.
Lindsey, Can You Ever Forgive Them?
Second Hand News (Neil Finn on lead vocals)
Say You Love Me
Black Magic Woman (Stevie Nicks on lead vocals)
I Got You (Split Enz cover)
Tell Me All the Things You Do (Neil Finn lead vocals)
World Turning (with drum interlude by Mick Fleetwood)
Hypnotized (Neil Finn lead vocals)
Oh Well (Mike Campbell on lead vocals)
Don’t Dream It’s Over (Crowded House cover) (Neil Finn & Stevie Nicks on lead vocals)
Isn’t It Midnight
You Make Loving Fun
Gold Dust Woman
Go Your Own Way Encore:
Free Fallin’ (Tom Petty cover) (Stevie Nicks on lead vocals)
All Over Again
Michael Roffmanon / Consequence of Sound / October 08, 2018
United Center, Chicago
Saturday, October 6, 2018
Every instance when the current members of Fleetwood Mac chanted “chains keep us together” at the United Center on only the second night of a North American tour that stretches well into 2019, it seemed to be much more than a chance for the audience to sing-a-long to what’s become its standard opener “The Chain,” but rather an internal commitment that no matter the degree of drama transpires, at least some version of the band will always exist. For those who missed the latest soap opera episode of what could easily be dubbed “As Fleetwood Mac’s World Turns,” the core four of drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie, vocalist/keyboardist Christine McVie and singer Stevie Nicks are continuing for the second time without Lindsey Buckingham, who’s been let go this round (and touring solo through the Athenaeum Theatre on October 17), but once again replaced by two players.
Chances are even those who weren’t keeping up with the saga could instantly recognize the fresh faces, Neil Finn (of Crowded House and Split Enz fame) and Mike Campbell (from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers), who dived head first into the Fleetwood Mac fold, despite Buckingham’s integral contributions being noticeably absent and missed. Then again, this is an act that’s been through numerous editions and incarnations (including most recently Christine McVie’s temporary retirement with merely Nicks and Buckingham out front in the 2000s), so it really wasn’t that far of a stretch to accept, at least as far as the venue’s sold out status was concerned.
Shaking up the line-up was accompanied by the unexpected inclusion of several rarities in between the main classics for well over two hours, which between all the players collectively and individually, meant there were tons of choices. “Little Lies,” “Dreams,” “Say You Love Me,” “Everywhere” and “Rhiannon” were just a handful of the Stevie and Christine notables that came across as sweet as ever, bathed in a wall of harmonies that may have sounded a bit different than the original records given the adjusted configuration, but were nonetheless textbook Fleetwood Mac.
The new recruits also had many chances to make the acquaintance of longtime fans in this format, with Finn excelling on Split Enz’s “I Got You,” Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over” in an enchanting duet with Nicks, plus the set list shockers “Tell Me All The Things You Do” and “Hypnotized” representing Danny Kirwan and Bob Welch’s contributions long before Fleetwood Mac made a commercial splash. Campbell gave listeners from the days of Peter Green and “Black Magic Woman” (resurrected earlier by Nicks) another bluesy surprise with the snarling “Oh Well,” while a tribute to his pal and former employer Tom Petty via “Free Fallin’” with Stevie singing earned a hefty appraisal.
Even with the front line’s massive appeal on their own, Fleetwood Mac mega-hits such as “Landslide,” “You Make Loving Fun,” “Go Your Own Way” and “Don’t Stop” called to mind exactly how valuable the group’s extensive songbook has become well beyond its main run throughout 1970s and ‘80s, alongside the forgotten ‘90s cut “All Over Again” popping up unexpectedly as the debut duet between the ladies to neatly tie up the night’s theme. Now in operation for more than 50 years, it’s probably safe to say that no matter what goes down between personnel or who winds up making the final roster during any given season, these Rock and Roll Hall of Famers will likely “never break the chain” as they “don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.”
Andy Argyrakis / Illinois Entertainer / October 8, 2018
The newly rebooted Fleetwood Mac, with new members Neil Finn and Michael Campbell, kicked off its “50 Years” tour on Wednesday night at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, performing a diverse set list, which drew from the band’s vast 50-year catalog.
It was the band’s first show of the tour without guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, who was dismissed from Fleetwood Mac in February. Addressing that elephant in the room, the band steered clear of most of Buckingham’s songs, but honored his indelible contributions to Fleetwood Mac’s enduring history with his first band composition “Monday Morning” from 1975’s self-titled “white album” and his most famous one “Go Your Own Way,” from Grammy’s 1977 Album of the Year, the almighty Rumours.
The group kept perennial favorites in the set — “Dreams,” “Rhiannon,” Say You Love Me,” among many others. But they occasionally delved deep into their back-catalog, pulling tracks from 1973’s Mystery to Me (Bob Welch’s mysterious “Hypnotized”), 1979’s Tusk (Stevie Nicks’ remorseful “Storms), and 1987’s Tango in the Night (the obscure UK single “Isn’t It Midnight”). The message was clear: Fleetwood Mac was a productive entity with and without Buckingham.
That work ethic began 50 years ago when Fleetwood Mac released its first recording on the Blue Horizon label, as a blues act. In Tulsa, they acknowledged these roots by playing two songs from their formative years with co-founder Peter Green: “Oh Well” and the pre-Santana “Black Magic Woman” (on which Stevie Nicks took the lead); and another two songs for the transitive years that followed (1969-1974) before Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac: “Tell Me All the Things You Do” from 1969’s Kiln House and “Hypnotized” from 1973’s Mystery to Me.
And the tributes continued with the present day, as Stevie Nicks honored the late Tom Petty with a touching rendition of “Free Fallin’,” with former Heartbreakers’ guitarist Michael Campbell strumming right along in memoriam.
The highly accomplished Neil Finn (of Crowded House) and Michael Campbell (of the aforementioned Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers) showcased their talents, as well, with Finn taking the male lead on many songs, notably in “Second Hand News.” Finn also played two of his own tracks, Split Enz’s 1980 hit “I Got You” and Crowded House’s 1986 anthem “Don’t Dream It’s Over.” The low-key Campbell served as a strong guitar lead for the band and sang lead on Peter Green’s blues rocker “Oh Well,” a favorite cover tune of Tom Petty.
The surprising show closer, “All Over Again,” from 1995’s Time, paid homage to another period in the band’s history without Buckingham. With lyrics like “Well it’s it’s time to move on to the rain / And finally break the chain / In spite of the heartaches / And troubles in love / I’d do it all over (do it all over),” it will was a fitting counterpart to the show’s opener “The Chain” and, more importantly, upholding the creed that has defined the band all these years, “Don’t stop,” or ironically as Buckingham might put it, “On with the show.”
Fleetwood Mac debuts new members, pays tribute to Tom Petty during tour launch in Tulsa.
One year and one day after the loss of gone-too-soon Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac launched a new North American tour and unveiled a new roster at Tulsa’s BOK Center.
The additions, who came aboard following the departure of Lindsey Buckingham, are Mike Campbell, former guitarist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Neil Finn, vocalist for Crowded House and Split Enz.
“I can’t tell you how much it means to us that you are all here tonight to share this with us,” Campbell told a sold-out crowd.
Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood was asked in a pre-concert interview if the set list would include any Crowded House or Petty songs, or whether there might be a tribute to Petty.
“I can attest that there will be,” Fleetwood said.
Fleetwood didn’t want to cite specific songs — why ruin the surprise? — but answers came when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, no stranger to personnel changes, began a new chapter Wednesday night.
The Petty tribute, an emotional highlight of the show, came during the encore. The first song of the encore was Petty’s “Free Fallin’” with vocals provided by Stevie Nicks, a longtime Petty friend. Images of Petty were shown on a screen behind the stage as Fleetwood Mac performed the song. Judging by the number of mobile phones held high, it was the most video-ed moment of the night.
Two songs from Finn’s ouevre were on the set list, including “I Got You” (the highest-charting Split Enz single in the U.S.) and “Don’t Dream It’s Over” (Crowded House’s biggest hit, it went to No. 2 in 1986). Nicks contributed vocal help on both songs.
Immediately before Finn sang “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” Fleetwood said this: “Many years ago I heard this beautiful song and, for me, it opened many doors in my heart, so this all eventually led to this lovely gentleman sharing the stage with us in Fleetwood Mac, so make him really welcome as he sings this most beautiful song.”
The new kids and the Fleetwood Mac vets — Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie and Nicks — played for almost two and a half hours and, perhaps feeling adventuresome in the wake of a lineup change, detoured to some interesting places.
Almost half (11 of 24 songs) of the set was mined from a self-titled 1975 album and the 1977 juggernaut Rumours.
But the first hint Fleetwood Mac was going to dig deep came six songs into the show, when Nicks handled vocal chores on “Black Magic Woman.” Written by former member Peter Green, “Black Magic Woman” was recorded by Fleetwood Mac in the twilight of the 1960s. The song became a hit for Santana in 1970.
Also on the set list: “Tell Me All the Things You Do” from the 1970 album Kiln House, the Bob Welch-penned “Hypnotized” from the 1973 album Mystery to Me and “Oh Well,” which was sang Wednesday night by Campbell and was originally recorded by Fleetwood Mac in 1969. (For context’s sake, consider that Nicks and Buckingham didn’t record with the band until 1975.)
Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac parted company in April. Do you really want a band with so many great songs to call it quits just because a key member is no longer part of the squad? Of course not.
Wanting to forge ahead, Fleetwood Mac took the hydra approach (lose one head; two will take its place) and announced a new tour.
At 8:14 p.m. Wednesday, when the new incarnation of the band took the stage, Fleetwood flashed a smile that was captured on the video screen. He and his band mates opened with “The Chain,” which has history as a show-starter and gave curious audience members a chance to immediately hear Finn at the microphone. The song didn’t match completely the version stuck in your brain from decades of hearing it, but Finn sounded like a natural fit in songs like “Go Your Own Way” and “Second Hand News.”
Introducing himself, Finn said, “My name is Neil and it’s a huge honor to be with you tonight with this magnificent band.”
A New Zealander, Finn also said this: “I would like to do a big shout-out to another fellow countryman who works just down the road, Mr. Steven Adams for the Oklahoma (City) Thunder. (He’s) the toughest guy in the league. I’m not even in the toughest person in Fleetwood Mac. I think that’s Stevie.”
Early in the show, Campbell looked at his new band mates and smiled. Nobody seemed to have more fun that Fleetwood, especially during a drum solo bookend-ed by the start and finish of “World Turning.” He introduced the rest of the band afterward and said it was a joy and privilege to welcome the new members.
Sometimes the whole cheer-for-an-encore thing feels too staged or expected, but the audience reaction (mobile phones illuminated, continuous roaring) suggested the crowd absolutely wanted more Fleetwood Mac, and that’s what they got when the anticipated Petty tribute arrived and was followed by two other songs — “Don’t Stop” and “All Over Again,” a song that Christine McVie said was about change.
A big change happened in the ranks of Fleetwood Mac. But here’s the takeaway: The tour launch didn’t feel like you were watching/hearing something less than Fleetwood Mac.
Fleetwood Mac set list
The Chain (Rumours)
Little Lies (Tango in the Night)
Second Hand News (Rumours)
Say You Love Me (Fleetwood Mac)
Black Magic Woman (English Rose/The Pious Bird of Good Omen)
On Friday night, Fleetwood Mac performed at the iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas. Although portions of the concert were streamlined live at CWTV.com, Fleetwood Mac’s performance was excluded. Fans will likely have to wait until next month, when the CW network rebroadcasts the festival over two nights on October 7th and 8th.
With new members Neil Finn and Michael Campbell in tow, Fleetwood Mac played a 30-minute set, consisting of “The Chain,” “Little Lies,” “Second Hand News,” “Gold Dust Woman,” and “Don’t Stop.”
Mick Fleetwood opens up about his rock photography, Fleetwood Mac’s tour without Lindsey Buckingham, and a new 50-year retrospective.
The 71-year-old rock drummer, who has been taking his own cameras out on the road with him since the early days of Fleetwood Mac, has always had an affinity for a great rock and roll shot. In order to share that with the public, he teamed up with the Morrison Hotel Gallery in 2016 to open a gallery space inside his Maui-based restaurant, Fleetwood’s General Store, which features a rotating array of fine art music photography.
On Saturday night (Aug. 4) in Los Angeles, Fleetwood — who is in town rehearsing for the upcoming Fleetwood Mac tour — popped by the Sunset Marquis Hotel in conjunction with the Morrison Hotel Gallery to showcase a selection of his favorite music shots, which included candid photos of the likes of Keith Richards, John Lee Hooker and bandmate Stevie Nicks.
Billboard caught up with Fleetwood on site to discuss his love of rock photography, his secret mission to infiltrate the stash of early Fleetwood Mac shots that McVie has been holding hostage and what he’s most looking forward to about his band’s upcoming tour.
We’re celebrating our sixth year with my Fleetwood’s, and in a restaurant that’s a lot. That’s another way to lose your hair but we’re part of the fabric there now, which is great. We opened up with the Morrison Hotel Gallery about two years ago and it’s been a huge success. Pattie Boyd, who was married to George Harrison and Eric [Clapton], did a little tour with Peter Blachley, one of the owners of the gallery. I met them in Australia years ago when Pattie was doing a show and I went to support. We were on the road and Christine, myself and John went to a gallery opening to support Stevie who was showing a Polaroid shot. She doesn’t really do that but Peter approached her and she said, “Okay. I’ll do it.” I met Peter again. We talked about one day doing something and then he came on holiday to our gallery. We had a regular gallery with open art at Fleetwood’s and I decided to go into partnership with Morrison Hotel Gallery. I said, “This is it.” For me, it’s a perfect fit. It makes a lot of sense because this is my world. We have a lot of fun. Whenever I’m at the restaurant, I pop down into the gallery and talk about some of the pieces that I know and introduce some of the people in the photographs that I was inspired by.
What is it about rock photography that speaks to you?
Photography-wise, I do bits and pieces on landscapes and stuff, which is what we used to have in the gallery. Am I a serious dude? No. I just have fun doing it. And then a guy who owned a gallery in Maui was like, “You should put some of these up. People would love to see them.” So that’s how it started, showing photos, and I have fun doing that. I have a reverence for great photography. But I don’t consider myself in that league.
John McVie, who is the bass player in Fleetwood Mac, is a really good photographer and he never did anything with it. It’s just like, “John, why don’t you show somewhere?” I don’t think he can be bartered. But I actually referenced him in terms of buying good cameras back in the day and learning a little bit about stuff. I was the annoying guy with the camera way back in the day when I first started touring with John. Everyone used to go “Ah! Here is the busy body with the camera. This joker. Get out of here.” But now they appreciate them. It’s like being in a family where you’re like, “Thank God dad forced us to take all those pictures.”
I have a lot of respect for these rock photographers. You realize that some of them were really led into the inner circles of some of these artists and bands. And you see how those photographs really capture the artist, the moment. You really have to give these people kudos. There is something about them as people that allowed this type of thing to happen and that doesn’t seemingly ever really get referenced.
Are the walls in your home covered with rock photography?
I have a very sweet and lovely home but my place hasn’t got much wall space — but I keep buying art. I go to my own gallery and I say, “Oh I want one of those.” I’ve got this whole load of photographs in storage. During this tour, I’m building a barn that is going to be a drum room and I have great aspirations for my overload of rock photography to be up on the wall there. And I will probably insist that John McVie gives me some of the shit he’s got on Fleetwood Mac.
What are you most looking forward to about the upcoming Fleetwood Mac tour?
We’re very excited. Obviously this is a huge change with the advent of Lindsey Buckingham not being a part of Fleetwood Mac. We all wish him well and all the rest of it. In truthful language, we just weren’t happy. And I’ll leave it at that in terms of the dynamic. And he’s going out on the road more or less the same time I think — not in the same places, I hope (laughs). So we’re with Mike Campbell from Tom Petty and Neil Finn from Crowded House — both really credible gentleman and really talented. We are a week into rehearsals and it’s going really well and we’re looking forward, in true Fleetwood Mac style. If you know anything about the history of this band, it’s sort of peppered with this type of dramatic stuff. It’s a strange band really. It’s ironic that we have a 50-year package coming out with all the old blues stuff with Peter Green, all the incarnations of Fleetwood Mac, which was not of course planned. But that’s what we’re feeling, especially myself and John, having been in Fleetwood Mac for 55 years. So it’s exciting, totally challenging in the whole creative part of it, and we’re really loving it. We’re just looking at a whole 18 months on-and-off of trekking around the world like we normally do and having it be fun.
While the news last month of Lindsey Buckingham’s departure from Fleetwood Mac (with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ veteran Mike Campbell and Split Enz/Crowded House’s Neil Finn taking Buckingham’s place) came as a shock to many Mac fans, this is hardly the group’s first major lineup switchup over the past half-century. Buckingham actually didn’t join Mac until 1974 (following the departure of co-founder Peter Green) and left the group once before, in the late ‘80s (he was replaced by Billy Burnette and Rick Vito at that time).
As drummer Mick Fleetwood the lineup’s one consistent member since the beginning, says, “If anyone out there has a sort of a track record of the history of this crazy band known as Fleetwood Mac, it is certainly peppered with changes through the years. … We’ve had probably four, five, six, seven major changes!”
Fleetwood is reluctant to go “into all of ups and downs and the details of where we ended up” with Buckingham this time around, but he gives “huge kudos and respect, forever and before and now and into the future, of what Lindsey Buckingham has always been within the ranks.” He also reveals that he and longtime bandmates Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie (who took a hiatus from the group from 1998-2013), and John McVie “thought very, very hard and long about going forward.”
In fact, they even considered not going forward at one point, but it didn’t take long before they realized they wanted to stick together.
“Well, it was a huddle, really. It was a team huddle of the existing band members to really not panic into anything, other than really following our hearts as to what this meant — which was huge, any which way you look at it,” Fleetwood muses. “And once we had galvanized that approach amongst the four remaining folks, the ladies and the guys in the band, we took the bull by the horns. It was really as simple as that. But it certainly took a real, meaningful breath. All of us, probably in our various ways, came to that decision that we want to, we need to, we feel good about it.
“And once we all felt that we really wanted to do that, it got hot and heavy as to how this is going to be really musically uplifting for the existing band — the band that we have now — and have it be believable for everyone out there that has been loyal and taken that journey with the crazy band Fleetwood Mac.”
The answer was to recruit Campbell — not a major surprise, considering his long history playing with Nicks — and, as more of a curveball, New Zealand singer-songwriter Finn. Fleetwood seems thrilled to be working with both “lovely gentlemen,” describing the new lineup’s dynamic as being “like a bunch of teenagers doing their thing, coming out of the garage.” He hints that Campbell and Finn’s respective catalogs will factor into the forthcoming Fleetwood Mac tour’s “huge” setlist (“their heritage and their background is going to be appropriately part of the show”), and he even says it’s likely that the Campbell/Finn collection will record new tunes together.
“I don’t think you can keep the horse in the trap, so to speak, when it comes to Christine and Stevie,” Fleetwood says of the possibility of new Mac music. “They’re still connected to everything about writing and having a whole new approach to it. Mike is hugely conversant with production and has written way more than I ever, ever knew. And he’s worked with Stevie, writing and producing and a lot of stuff that Stevie did through the years with Tom and of course the Heartbreakers. And Neil is a given; he’s just a hugely connected songwriter that really covers a huge gamut. … I truly believe that [new music] will happen. I’m hoping that we can throw out a couple of calling cards before we go out on the road. I’m not quite sure that we can apply ourselves to do that, but all of that is to look forward to. It’s hugely important, whichever way you look at it, for a band to remain being creative, not treading water.”
While Fleetwood is enthusiastic about his band’s future, he reveals that Mac’s tour, which officially kicks off Oct. 3 in Tulsa, Okla. (after the new lineup makes its live debut at Las Vegas’s iHeartRadio Festival in September) and will continue into 2019, will delve deep in the band’s archives — dating back to before the famous Buckingham/Nicks era. “We’re really looking forward to doing some spotted revisiting of some of the old blues-based, rock ‘n’ roll stuff we did back in the day,” he says, “like ‘Black Magic Woman’ and ‘Oh Well.’ And I think Stevie’s even threatening to sing ‘Black Magic Woman,’ which sounds more than exciting! … I think everything is just open, looking at what we’ve done since the beginning and no doubt touching on some of the blues stuff that Campbell, very specifically, is insisting that we do. And happily so.”
Fleetwood and his new and old bandmates are still hashing out the setlist (“We’re all exchanging lists, emailing madly backwards and forwards”), but regardless of which songs make the cut, the upcoming tour is bound to be a fascinating look at Fleetwood Mac’s complex and ever-evolving history. And it’s going to be a marathon event. “I was around Stevie’s house the other night with Campbell, and we quietly realized that we were heading towards a three-hour show! It was a sort of comedic moment,” Fleetwood chuckles, adding more seriously: “We’re looking forward to putting on an incredibly vibrant show that is truly groundbreaking, for us, and that’s about as good as it can get for a musician to be in that sort of noncomplacent place.”
Singer, songwriter and guitarist with Fleetwood Mac in the late 1960s and early 70s who brought great creativity to the band
Although he was only 18 when he joined Fleetwood Mac in 1968, Danny Kirwan, who has died aged 68, rapidly became a significant creative force within the group in their early years. It was the guitarist Peter Green who achieved enduring “guitar hero” status with the band, but Kirwan was also a fluent and accomplished player with a delicate touch, his playing particularly recognisable for its use of vibrato.
He was also a prolific songwriter whose compositions would help to move Fleetwood Mac away from their strictly blues roots towards the more melodic soft-rock that turned them into one of the world’s most successful acts.
Kirwan had been in the group for two months when he made his first recording with them, playing on their Green-composed single “Albatross,” a lilting instrumental assembled from contrasting guitar parts. It was an auspicious beginning, since this would be the band’s only UK No 1 hit. His first album with them, Then Play On (1969), contained seven of his songs, including the string-accompanied ballad “When You Say” among more conventionally bluesy material.
He had more writing credits on Kiln House (1970) – the group’s first album after the departure of Green – including the bouncy rocker “Tell Me All the Things You Do,” and he wrote the single “Dragonfly” (1970), with lyrics from a poem by WH Davies. Green considered “Dragonfly” to be the best song Kirwan ever wrote.
Future Games (1971) included the Kirwan-penned opening track “Woman of 1000 Years,” a piece of dreamy California-style psychedelia, and his proto-country rock effort Sometimes. Bare Trees (1972), the last Mac album Kirwan appeared on, featured five more of his songs, including the almost Eagles-like “Child of Mine” and the poignant soft-rock of “Dust” (the latter taking its lyrics from Rupert Brooke’s poem of the same name).
Kirwan can thus be seen as the missing link between the original Fleetwood Mac, planted squarely in the British blues boom, and the band’s megastar LA-based incarnation featuring Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham , when it would sell 40m copies of its 1977 album Rumours.
But Kirwan was unable to cash in on the band’s subsequent commercial bonanza. He had always been emotionally fragile, and Green recounted that Kirwan would often be in tears while he was playing. The strain of touring and performing drove him to drink and drugs, and he often neglected food altogether. He finally quit during a US tour in 1972, when he flew into a rage in the dressing room before one of the shows, smashed his Les Paul guitar and refused to take the stage with the rest of the band. Afterwards Mick Fleetwood told Kirwan he was out of the band.
Kirwan was born in Brixton, south London, though obscurity surrounds his upbringing. At 17 he was playing in a three-piece band called Boilerhouse, and after he persuaded Fleetwood Mac’s producer Mike Vernon to come and see them, Vernon recommended them to Green, who invited Boilerhouse to be the support band at Fleetwood Mac shows. Green had not been happy with his co-guitarist Jeremy Spencer and was looking for another guitar player, so Kirwan was invited aboard, joining the lineup in August 1968.
“I was lucky to have played for the band at all,” Kirwan told the Independent in a rare interview in 1993, after he had stepped out of the limelight. “I did it for about four years, to about 1972, but I couldn’t handle the lifestyle and the women and the travelling.” At this time he had been living in a St Mungo’s homeless hostel in central London, but had been tracked down by Fleetwood, who had last seen him in 1980.
After leaving Fleetwood Mac, Kirwan had put in a blink-and-you-missed-it stint with a band called Hungry Fighter, who played one solitary gig and made no recordings. He made three solo albums on the DJM label in the 1970s, Second Chapter (1975), Midnight in San Juan (1976) and Hello There Big Boy! (1979), but though the music was often melodic and attractive, Kirwan’s absence from live performance and lack of public visibility meant that the discs sold miserably and failed to chart.
He subsequently drifted away from music altogether, spending 10 years living rough and in a basement flat in Brixton, surviving on social security and royalty payments from his Fleetwood Mac work. In 1998, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Fleetwood Mac, but did not attend the ceremony.
He is survived by a son, Dominic, from his marriage to Clare Morris, which ended in divorce.
Daniel David Kirwan, guitarist, singer and songwriter, born 13 May 1950; died 8 June 2018
iHeartMedia announced today that Fleetwood Mac has been added to the iconic lineup for the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival, the legendary concert event which creates radio history year after year through powerful and unforgettable performances. The event will take place on September 21 and 22 at Las Vegas’ hottest entertainment venue, T-Mobile Arena.
This year, the epic two-day event will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest and will feature performances by Justin Timberlake, Fleetwood Mac, Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Imagine Dragons, Jason Aldean, Sam Smith, Luke Bryan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Panic! At The Disco, Kelly Clarkson, Shawn Mendes, Kygo, Rae Sremmurd, Logic and more. The iHeartRadio Music Festival will also include a performance from this year’s Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star winner, to be announced on July 6.
“It is an honor to be performing at the iHeartRadio Music Festival for our very first time,” said Stevie Nicks. “The beauty of an event like this is that it is a true representation of the power of radio. It’s an opportunity for artists across all genres to share one stage and what we all love most – music!”
Each night, the iHeartRadio Music Festival will broadcast live for fans via iHeartMedia radio stations throughout the country across more than 150 markets. The CW Network will also exclusively livestream both nights of the festival via CWTV.com and The CW App, and broadcast a two-night television special on October 7 and October 8 from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. EST/PST.
Beginning today, June 12 at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST, Capital One cardholders will have access to a limited number of tickets through a special pre-sale for the iHeartRadio Music Festival. Tickets will be available only at iHeartRadio.com/CapitalOne. Additionally, there will be a Capital One Premier Access Package available during the cardholder pre-sale which includes access to a front row fan pit at the main stage on September 22, a backstage tour, a Daytime Stage ticket and an exclusive artist experience. Tickets go on sale to the general public on June 15 at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST via iHeartRadio.com/Tickets.
In addition, throughout a summer-long on-air and online promotion, iHeartMedia station listeners across the country will have the chance to win a one-of-a-kind dream trip to Las Vegas where they will join thousands of other dedicated music fans to experience the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival at T-Mobile Arena. One Grand Prize Winner will be chosen to receive a fantasy all-access experience.
Proud partners of this year’s event include: 1800® Tequila, Bai Beverages, Bioré® Skincare, Capital One®, The CW Network, Macy’s, T-Mobile and Taco Bell® with more to be announced.
The 2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival is co-produced by John Sykes, and Tom Poleman. For more details about the iHeartRadio Music Festival visit iHeartRadio.com/festival.
2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival
When: Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22, 2018
Capital One Cardholder Pre-Sale
For your first chance to buy tickets, exclusive Capital One Cardholder Pre-Sale tickets & Capital One Premier Access Packages will be available at AXS.com from today, Tuesday, June 12 at 10am PT / 1pm ET until Thursday, June 14 at 10pm PT / 1am ET or until pre-sale tickets and packages are gone. Visit iHeartRadio.com/CapitalOne for details.
Tickets go on-sale to the public starting Friday, June 15 at 10am PT / 1pm ET at AXS.com.
A limited number of VIP Ticket Packages will be available on Friday, June 15 at 10am PT / 1pm ET. Visit AXS.com for details.
The band has parted ways with Lindsey Buckingham, but that isn’t stopping it from launching a huge tour this fall.
EARLY THIS SPRING, most of Fleetwood Mac – Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood – gathered at a theater on the Hawaiian island of Maui with their future in doubt. The band had secretly parted ways with Lindsey Buckingham, the voice and guitar behind many of its most enduring songs. According to the group, the split came down to a scheduling conflict surrounding an upcoming tour. “We were supposed to go into rehearsal in June, and he wanted to put it off until next November,” says Nicks. “That’s a long time. I just did 70 shows [on a solo tour]. As soon as I finish one thing, I dive back into another. Why would we stop? This is what we do.”
So the bandmates invited Mike Campbell, former guitarist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Neil Finn, best known as the frontman of Eighties hitmakers Crowded House, to spend a few days workshopping songs and see if they could press forward without Buckingham. “I immediately felt like I’d known them for years,” says Christine McVie, “though we’d only just met.” The lineup will embark on a 52date tour beginning October 3rd in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that will run until mid-2019.
Buckingham’s ousting marks the latest messy chapter in the ongoing 50-year Fleetwood Mac drama – or, as drummer Fleetwood tells it, business as usual. When key early members like Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer left in the early 1970s, Fleetwood got on the phone and recruited new members. The group never stopped working, even when Nicks left in the early 1990s and a new lineup found itself opening for the likes of REO Speedwagon on the amphitheater circuit. “My instincts have always been to gravitate toward going forward,” Fleetwood says. “But I’d be lying if I didn’t literally say to myself, ‘This one needs a lot of thought.’ ” (Buckingham has not responded to interview requests.)
On February 1st, Fleetwood called Campbell, who was in Hawaii. It was the guitarist’s 68th birthday. “I was sitting by my pool contemplating my future without my partner [Petty], which was going to be a dark place,” he says. “I said, ‘Give me a day to think it over.’ The more I thought, the more I thought it could be great. Stevie and I have always been very creative together.” After getting Campbell’s commitment, Fleetwood called Finn, whom he played with at a 2016 fundraiser in New Zealand. “I was stunned,” Finn says. “I’m relishing this beautiful gift given to me.”
The new version of Fleetwood Mac soon starts two months of rehearsals. They’ve decided to draw from their entire catalog, not just the Buckingham-Nicks run from 1975 to 1987 that gave them nearly all of their hits. “We were never able to do that because certain people in the band weren’t interested,” says Nicks. “Now we can open the set.”
For Nicks, carrying on without Buckingham is bittersweet: “Our relationship has always been volatile. We were never married, but we might as well have been. Some couples get divorced after 40 years. They break their kids’ hearts. This is sad for me, but I want the next 10 years of my life to be really fun and happy. I want to get up every day and dance around my apartment and say, ‘Thank God for this amazing life.’ ”
PHOTO (COLOR): GO YOUR OWN WAY McVie, Finn, Fleetwood, Nicks, Campbell, McVie (Randee St. Nicholas)
Andy Greene / Rolling Stone / Thursday, May 17, 2018
Copyright of Rolling Stone is the property of Rolling Stone LLC
Fleetwood Mac hits the road in October with new members Neil Finn and Michael Campbell. Tickets go on sale to the general public starting Friday, May 4.
LOS ANGELES, CA (April 25, 2018) – Legendary, GRAMMY-award winning band Fleetwood Mac announced today a North American tour, set to kick off in October and travel through 50+ cities ending in Spring of 2019. Produced by Live Nation, the tour will feature the newly announced line-up of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Christine McVie along with newcomers Mike Campbell and Neil Finn.
Tickets for the tour will go on-sale to the general public starting on Friday, May 4 at 10am local time. A complete Fleetwood Mac itinerary listing all tour dates follows this release.
American Express® Card Members can purchase tickets in select markets before the general public beginning Monday, April 30 at 10am through Thursday, May 3 at 10pm. A limited number of LaneOne VIP Packages will also be available, including amazing seats with premium benefits such as transportation, preferred entrance and more.
SiriusXM’s The Fleetwood Mac Channel begins on Tuesday, May 1st at 5:00 pm ET and runs through May, via satellite on channel 30, and through the SiriusXM app on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at http://www.siriusxm.com and will feature music, interviews and hosted shows from current and former band members.
“Fleetwood Mac has always been about an amazing collection of songs that are performed with a unique blend of talents. We jammed with Mike and Neil and the chemistry really worked and let the band realize that this is the right combination to go forward with in Fleetwood Mac style. We know we have something new, yet it’s got the unmistakable Mac sound,” said Mick Fleetwood.
“We are thrilled to welcome the musical talents of the caliber of Mike Campbell and Neil Finn into the Mac family. With Mike and Neil, we’ll be performing all the hits that the fans love, plus we’ll be surprising our audiences with some tracks from our historic catalogue of songs,” said the group collectively. “Fleetwood Mac has always been a creative evolution. We look forward to honoring that spirit on this upcoming tour.”
Fleetwood Mac was founded by Peter Green in 1967 and was named after Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. After Peter Green left in 1969, Fleetwood and McVie remained as original members, and the band has since featured a cast of brilliant talents. Most notably, Christine McVie joined the band in 1970, with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joining in 1974. The enduring spirit of Fleetwood Mac stands for an incredible body of great music that has connected with generations of people all over the world for more than 50 years. Fleetwood Mac has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and the GRAMMY-award winning band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
FLEETWOOD MAC 2018-19 TOUR DATES
*All dates, venues and cities below subject to change.